Lake Morphometry Metrics

Lake morphometry metrics are used by limnologists to understand, among other things, the ecological processes in a lake. Traditionally, these metrics are calculated by hand, with planimeters, and increasingly with commercial GIS products. All of these methods work; however, they are either outdated, difficult to reproduce, or require expensive licenses to use. The 'lakemorpho' package provides the tools to calculate a typical suite of these metrics from an input elevation model and lake polygon. The metrics currently supported are: fetch, major axis, minor axis, major/minor axis ratio, maximum length, maximum width, mean width, maximum depth, mean depth, shoreline development, shoreline length, surface area, and volume.


AppVeyor Build Status


RStudio_CRAN_Downloads The purpose of lakemorpho is to provide a suite of tools that can be used to calculate basic lake morphometry metrics from an input SpatialPolygonsDataframe of a lake and a digital elevation model, as a RasterLayer, for the terrain surrounding that lake. These tools are being used to calculate lake morphometry metrics for all "lakepond" waterbodies in the NHDPlus V2.

Metrics Included

lakemorpho calculates the following metrics

  • Surface Area
  • Shoreline Length
  • Shoreline Development
  • Maximum Depth
  • Mean Depth
  • Lake Volume
  • Maximum Lake Length
  • Mean Lake Width
  • Maximum Lake Width
  • Major and Minor Axis
  • Fetch from a specified bearing

To install

Install version 1.1.0 of lakemorpho from CRAN:


Install development version of lakemorpho from GitHub:


EPA Disclaimer

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GitHub project code is provided on an "as is" basis and the user assumes responsibility for its use. EPA has relinquished control of the information and no longer has responsibility to protect the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of the information. Any reference to specific commercial products, processes, or services by service mark, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply their endorsement, recomendation or favoring by EPA. The EPA seal and logo shall not be used in any manner to imply endorsement of any commercial product or activity by EPA or the United States Government.

EPA Static Source

If for some reason you need a link to a static source file that is accessible from US EPA.


Reference manual

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1.2.0 by Jeffrey W. Hollister, 2 months ago

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Browse source code at

Authors: Jeffrey W. Hollister [aut, cre] , Jemma Stachelek [aut]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

Task views: Hydrological Data and Modeling

CC0 license

Imports methods, stats, grDevices, rgdal, raster, rgeos, sp, geosphere, cluster

See at CRAN