Lake residence time (also called the retention time of lake water, or the water age or flushing time) is a calculated quantity expressing the mean time that water (or some dissolved substance) spends in a particular lake. At its simplest, this figure is the result of dividing the lake volume by the flow in or out of the lake. It roughly expresses the amount of time taken for a substance introduced into a lake to flow out of it again. The retention time is especially important where pollutants are concerned.
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