The profundal zone is a deep zone of an inland body of freestanding water, such as a lake or pond, located below the range of effective light penetration. This is typically below the thermocline, the vertical zone in the water through which temperature drops rapidly. The lack of light in the profundal zone determines the type of biological community that can live in this region, which is distinctly different from the community in the overlying waters. The profundal zone is part of the aphotic zone.
See also