Limnology ( ; from Greek λίμνη, limne, "lake" and λόγος, logos, "knowledge"), is the study of inland waters. It is often regarded as a division of ecology or environmental science. It covers the biological, chemical, physical, geological, and other attributes of all inland waters (running and standing waters, both fresh and saline, natural or man-made). This includes the study of lakes and ponds, rivers, springs, streams and wetlands. A more recent sub-discipline of limnology, termed landscape limnology, studies, manages, and conserves these aquatic ecosystems using a landscape perspective.
Limnology is closely related to aquatic ecology and hydrobiology, which study aquatic organisms in particular regard to their hydrological environment. Although limnology is sometimes equated with freshwater science, this is erroneous since limnology also comprises the study of inland salt lakes.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
study of lakes and fresh water, 1892, with -logy + limno-, comb. form of Greek limne "pool of standing water, tidal pool, marsh, lake," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)). The science founded and the name probably coined by Swiss geologist François-Alphonse Forel (1841-1912). Related: Limnological; limnologist.
n. (context ecology English) The science concerning the biological, physical and geological properties of fresh water bodies, especially lakes and ponds.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
limnology \limnology\ n. the scientific study of bodies of fresh water for their biological and physical and geological properties.
n. the scientific study of bodies of fresh water for their biological and physical and geological properties