The waters of Lake Kivu manifest a particularly
obvious 'stair-like' stratified structure following the variations of their physico-chemical
parameters with depth. The exact explanation of this phenomenon of stratification
is complex. The waters of the lake are made up of homogenous layers - where mixing
by convection easily takes place - separated by layers with a high density gradient
which act as barriers to the mixing process.
A Franco-Swiss team of
scientists is studying the physico-chemical makeup of the lake, its evolution
through time, the origin of the dissolved gases and an evaluation of the risk
of a gas explosion.