How do lakes mature?



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    A naturally occuring lake has a lifespan that ends in its “death” as it loses water and gains sediment until it looks just like the surrounding land. This maturation process is called eutrophication. A young lake has very clear water, where sunlight may be able to penetrate all the way to the bottom, but it has relatively few living organisms. As it matures, the plants, animals and other microorganisms grow drastically in population, creating a diverse ecosystem. However, all the organisms block sunlight so it is murkier at the bottom. Pollution from humans, erosion and excess nutrients speed up this process. Eventually the lake is eutrophic, which means that the sediment from decaying plant matter and erosion have made the water very clouded and it will soom be more like land than a body of water.

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