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Lake Pupuke

Lake Pupuke is a large, deep volcanically formed lake that is surrounded by urban areas. It is commonly used for a wide array of water sports including swimming, diving, boating and fishing. This lake often plays host to large volumes of people engaging in a variety of recreational activities.

Lake Pupuke is one of the largest and deepest lakes monitored by the Auckland Council, it is also the only volcanically formed coastal lake monitored by the council that has an urban catchment. The lake has several parks, reserves and a golf course within its respective catchment area. It has no major surface inflows but does have a subsurface outflow. This volcanic crater lake is considered mesotrophic despite its urbanised catchment area (93% urban). This conservation of good water quality could be attributed to the lake being buffered as a result of its large size compared to the size of its catchment. The lake is monomictic and usually stratifies outside of winter months, which results in anoxic bottom waters and the release of dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) from the sediments. Even in winter, when the lake is not stratified, the bottom waters are usually anoxic. There has been an improvement in the trophic level index (TLI) score and all constituent variables (total nitrogen, total phosphorous, chlorophyll a and Secchi depth) in the past two decades. The extended range/depth of charophyte meadows and the establishment of the invasive macrophyte Vallisneria australis are seen as a possible cause for the improved water quality. These aquatic macrophytes act as a sink for sediment and tend to keep particulate matter bound close to the bottom of the lake. It should be noted that the establishment of invasive Vallisneria along with the introduction of coarse fish can adversely affect the water quality of the lake. There have been historic accounts of elevated nutrient concentrations stimulating algal growth which resulted in a decrease in water clarity, this was seen as a possible sign of deteriorating water quality. More recently trophic indicators such as water clarity suggest the water quality is improving. However, mean annual chlorophyll and in-lake nutrient concentrations are increasing suggesting the water quality is possibly deteriorating. Lake Pupuke appears to be in a stable condition and still maintains the second highest water quality in the regions monitored lakes, second only to Lake Ototoa.

Lake Summary
  • Lake size
  • Maximum depth
  • Catchment size
  • Mixing pattern
  • Geomorphic type
Scientific data for this lake

This dashboard shows information on the data collected by the regional councils for two lake water quality and ecological condition measurements. Lake SPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) and TLI (Trophic Level):

  • Water Quality

    Trophic Level Index (TLI)

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    This measure is the Trophic Level Index (TLI). The TLI indicates the lifesupporting capacity of a lake and is based on four water quality indicators.

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    Trophic Level Index (TLI) history for this lake

    Trophic Level Indicator (TLI) which measures four parameters: water clarity, chlorophyll content, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. From these parameters a TLI value is calculated. In cases where water clarity data is missing a three parameter TLI is calculated. The higher the value, the greater the nutrients and fertility of the water which encourages growth, including algal blooms. As a rule, higher TLI scores mean poorer water quality. View a factsheet on TLI

    TLI history for Lake Pupuke
    TLI history for Lake Pupuke data table
    Year TLI Score
    Year TLI Score

    What do the icons mean?

    Very good water quality. Trophic Level Index of less than 2. Microtrophic lake conditions.
    Good water quality. Trophic Level Index of 2-3. Oligotrophic lake conditions.
    Average water quality. Trophic Level Index of 3-4. Mesotrophic lake conditions.
    Poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of 4-5. Eutrophic lake conditions.
    Very poor water quality. Trophic Level Index of greater than 5. Supertrophic lake conditions.
    No data available.
  • Ecological Conditions

    Submerged Plant Indicators (SPI)

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    The LakeSPI status describes the ecological condition of the lake and is based on plants present.

    LakeSPI data provided by NIWA

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    LakeSPI history for this lake

    LakeSPI (Lake Submerged Plant Indicators) is a method of characterising the ecological condition of lakes based on the composition of native and invasive plants growing in them. A higher LakeSPI percentage result is associated with better ecological health:

    LakeSPI N/A
    LakeSPI {{spiData.grades[0].Value}}%

    The overall LakeSPI score is calculated using a Native Condition Index ('good' plants) and an Invasive Impact Index (introduced, non-native plants):

    Native Condition N/A
    Native Condition {{spiData.grades[0].NativeIndex}}%
    Invasive Impact N/A
    Invasive Impact {{spiData.grades[0].InvasiveIndex}}%

    A higher Native Condition percentage is also good, but a higher Invasive Impact percentage is bad. View a factsheet on SPI

    • SPI %
    • Native Condition %
    • Invasive Impact %
    LakeSPI history for Lake Pupuke
    LakeSPI history for Lake Pupuke data table
    Sample Date Status LakeSPI % Native Condition Index % Invasive Impact Index %
    LakeSPI information has been provided by NIWA.

    What do the icons mean?

    Excellent ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 75-100%.
    High ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 50-75%.
    Moderate ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 20-50%.
    Poor ecological health. A LakeSPI score of 0-20%.
    Non-vegetated. A LakeSPI score of 0% (there are no plants present).
    No data available.

Monitored sites on Lake Pupuke

...retrieving sites.

No sites found.

Live Data


The Environmental Data produced by this page should be used as a guide only. LAWA takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information presented, and accepts no liability for actions taken of others based on this information.
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