Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research


Stream gauging is a standard tool used to measure the flow rate of various bodies of water. Knowing the flow rate of a body of water allows for the residence time of a body of water to be calculated. Currently, there is very little information regarding the flow rate and residence times of Laguna Bacalar. This system has been observed hydrologically consistently only in the past 6 years. In this study, 13 stream-gauging locations of interest were identified and gauged for their respective flow rates using the midsection method. Once the flow rates were acquired, maps depicting the Laguna Bacalar flow rate for November 2022, summer 2023, and the overall average were created. Following this, the residence time for the main four basins found in Laguna Bacalar was calculated. Understanding the overall system is vital to understanding the hydrological ecosystem, which depends on these factors.