Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hessd-12-6505-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 Jul 2015
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Temperature and rainfall estimates for past 18 000 years in Owens Valley, California with a coupled catchment–lake model
Z. Yu1,2, W. Dong3, and P. Jiang4 1State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
2Department of Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
3Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
4Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Abstract. Closed-basin lakes are intricately linked to the hydrological systems and are very sensitive recorders of local hydro-climatic fluctuations. Lake records in closed-basins are usually used to investigate the paleoclimate condition which is critical for understanding the past and predicting the future. In this study, a physically based catchment–lake model was developed to extract quantitative paleoclimate information including temperature and rainfall over the past 18 000 years (ka) from lake records in a hydrologically closed basin in the Owens River Valley, California, US. The initial model inputs were prepared based on current regional climate data, boundary conditions from the General Circulation Model, and fossil proxy data. The inputs subsequently were systematically varied in order to produce the observed lake levels. In this way, a large number of possible paleoclimatic combinations can quickly narrow the possible range of paleoclimatic combinations that could have produced the paleolake level and extension. Finally, a quantitative time-series of paleoclimate information for those key times was obtained.

Citation: Yu, Z., Dong, W., and Jiang, P.: Temperature and rainfall estimates for past 18 000 years in Owens Valley, California with a coupled catchment–lake model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 12, 6505-6539, doi:10.5194/hessd-12-6505-2015, 2015.
Z. Yu et al.
Z. Yu et al.

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Short summary
This study simulates paleolake extent in Owens Valley, California in the last 18ka. A coupled catchment-lake model is developed which is capable of accurately simulating lake extent as a function of modern climate and paleoclimate. Through these simulations, the paleoclimate information including annual precipitation and temperature can be quantitatively estimated against field evidence in a catchment-lake hydrologic system.
This study simulates paleolake extent in Owens Valley, California in the last 18ka. A coupled...
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