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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-471
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-471
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 Oct 2020

14 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Latitude and bathymetry modify lake warming under ice

Cintia L. Ramón1, Hugo N. Ulloa2, Tomy Doda1, Kraig B. Winters3, and Damien Bouffard1 Cintia L. Ramón et al.
  • 1Department of Surface Waters – Research and Management, Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Kastanienbaum, 6047, Switzerland
  • 2Physics of Aquatic Systems Laboratory, EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Lausanne, CH-1015, Switzerland
  • 3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0209, USA

Abstract. In late winter, solar radiation is the main driver of water motion in ice-covered lakes. The resulting circulation and mixing determine the spatial distribution of heat within the lake and affect the heat budget of the ice cover. Although under-ice lake warming is often modeled as a one-dimensional vertical process, lake bathymetry induces a relative excess heating of shallow waters, creating horizontal density gradients. This study shows that the dynamic response to these gradients depends sensitively on lake size and latitude – Earth rotation – and is controlled by the Rossby number. In the ageostrophic limit, horizontal density gradients drive cross-shore circulation that transports excess heat to the lake interior, accelerating the under-ice warming there. In the geostrophic regime, the circulation of the near- and off-shore waters decouple and excess heat is retained in the shallows. The flow regime controls the fate of this excess heat and its contribution to water-induced ice-melt.

Cintia L. Ramón et al.

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Latitude and bathymetry modify lake warming under ice (Dataset) [Data set]. Cintia L. Ramón, Hugo N. Ulloa, Tomy Doda, Kraig B. Winters, and Damien Bouffard https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4027393

Cintia L. Ramón et al.

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Short summary
When solar radiation penetrates the frozen surface of lakes, shallower zones underneath warm faster than deep interior waters. This numerical study shows that the transport of excess heat to the lake interior depends on the lake circulation, affected by Earth rotation, and controls the lake warming rates and the spatial distribution of the heat flux across the ice-water interface. This work contributes to the understanding of the circulation and thermal structure patterns of ice-covered lakes.
When solar radiation penetrates the frozen surface of lakes, shallower zones underneath warm...
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