Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN (Print): 2328-3912 ISSN (Online): 2328-3920 Website: Editor-in-chief: Alejandro González Medina
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Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2016, 4(1), 26-36
DOI: 10.12691/aees-4-1-4
Open AccessArticle

Climate Variability and Its Effects on the Increased Level of Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic, 2000-2013

Rafael Méndez-Tejeda1, , Gladys Rosado2, Diego V Rivas.2, Tomás Montilla2, Santiago Hernández2, Antonio Ortiz2 and Francisco Santos2

1Universidad de Puerto Rico en Carolina, Laboratorio de Ciencias Atmosféricas, Departamento de Ciencias Naturales, PO Box 4800, Carolina 00984, Puerto Rico

2Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Centro de Investigaciones de Biología Marina (CIBIMA), Av. Alma Mater. Santo Domingo 10105, Dominican Republic

Pub. Date: April 15, 2016

Cite this paper:
Rafael Méndez-Tejeda, Gladys Rosado, Diego V Rivas., Tomás Montilla, Santiago Hernández, Antonio Ortiz and Francisco Santos. Climate Variability and Its Effects on the Increased Level of Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic, 2000-2013. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences. 2016; 4(1):26-36. doi: 10.12691/aees-4-1-4


During this century, the island of Hispaniola has been affected by climate changes that have directly impacted two major bodies of water on the island: Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic and Lake Étang Saumâtre (Azuei) in Haiti. Lake Enriquillo is a hypersaline and endorheic basin (the water outlet only occurs by evaporation) so the lake level normally fluctuates between 40–50 m below sea level. During the period 2000–2013, Lake Enriquillo began to rise 17.2m.This expansion could be attributed to the effects identified by the regulating influences or Caribbean Regulators Climate Centers (CRCCs) such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, El Niño, trade winds, the Atlantic Warm Pool, as well as the Azores anticyclone. Lake Enriquillo has undergone an unprecedented increase in water level over the last decade, resulting in the inundation of thousands of acres of farms and more than a dozen villages, causing social, environmental and economic impacts. The Surface Cover Water (SCW) of Lake Enriquillo reached minimum values in 2004 (170 km2), and then shifted to a rapid expansion to its current levels (> 350 km2 as of late 2013). Lake Azuei has grown at a similar rate [1]. The present research provides a climatological analysis (temperature, precipitation, evaporation, and potential evapotranspiration, among others), with the aim of seeking a possible explanation for the rising level of Lake Enriquillo.

Lake Enriquillo extreme phenomena Endorheic Lake Caribbean regulators climate centers climate change

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