Large-scale and meso-scale surface heat flux patterns of Lake Geneva

Diverse studies have confirmed the adverse impact of global climate change in lakes. In order to establish effective water quality management policies, it is essential to understand how the heat exchange between the atmosphere and the lake evolves under these conditions. Lake Surface Water Temperature (LSWT), which is the key coupling parameter at the interface of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) and the lake surface layer is often considered the reference climate variable in this context. The temporal development of the lake heat content is mainly controlled by the net Surface Heat Flux (SurHF) at this interface. LSWT, ABL conditions and SurHF are linked and may vary in space and time. However, past studies often relied on single point measurements for SurHF estimation and this can result in significant errors in the heat budget analysis, particularly over large lakes. In this thesis, the dynamics of SurHF over Lake Geneva, the largest water body in Western Europe, were investigated with an emphasis on the effect of spatial heterogeneity of the LSWT and meteorological parameters on two different scales. A large-scale study for the whole surface of the lake was carried out using meteorological data and satellite images with a pixel size of 1 km2 that can depict large-scale thermal patterns, but not the meso- or small-scale processes. To address the SurHF aspects at the meso-scale level, an airborne system for resolving LSWT with a ~1 m pixel resolution was developed that allowed investigating the structure of the processes on scales within a satellite pixel. In a multi-annual large-scale analysis, the SurHF of Lake Geneva was estimated for a 7-y period (2008 to 2014). Data sources included hourly maps of over-the-lake reanalysis meteorological data from a numerical weather model, LSWT from satellite imagery, and long-term temperature depth profiles at two locations. The most common formulas for different heat flux components were combined and calibrated at two locations based on the heat content balance in the water column. When optimized for one lake temperature profile location, SurHF models failed to predict the temperature profile at the other location due to the spatial variability of meteorological parameters. Consequently, a procedure for calibrating the optimal SurHF models was developed using two profile locations. The combination of the modified parameterization of the Brutsaert equation for incoming atmospheric radiation and of similarity theory bulk parameterization algorithms for turbulent SurHF provided the most accurate SurHF estimates. It was found that if a calibration was not carried out optimally, the calculated change in heat content could be much higher than the observed annual climate change-induced trend. The developed calibration procedure improved parameterization of bulk transfer coefficients, mainly under low wind regimes. The optimized and calibrated set of bulk models was then used to compute the spatiotemporal SurHF. Model results indicated an average spatial range of > ± 20 Wm-2. This was mainly caused by wind-sheltering over parts of the lake, which produced spatial anomalies in sensible and latent heat fluxes. During spring, much less spatial variability was evident compared to other seasons. The spring variability was ca

Barry, David Andrew
Lausanne, EPFL
Cover title: Surface heat flux and water temperature spatial variability: large-scale and meso-scale results over Lake Geneva

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 Record created 2018-08-06, last modified 2020-03-31

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