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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Historical modelling of changes in Lake Erken thermal conditions

Simone Moras, Ana I. Ayala, and Don C. Pierson Simone Moras et al.
  • Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden

Abstract. The thermal structure of lakes is strictly related to climate and to the variability of thermal and mixing dynamics. In this study, a physical hydrodynamic model (GOTM) was used to reconstruct daily time-step water temperature of Lake Erken (Sweden) over the period 1961–2017, using seven climatic parameters as forcing data: wind speed (WS), air temperature (Air T), atmospheric pressure (Air P), relative humidity (RH), cloud cover (CC), precipitation (DP) and shortwave radiation (SWR). The model was calibrated against real water temperature data collected during the study interval, and the calibrated model revealed a good match between modelled and observed temperature (RMSE = 1.112 °C). From the long-term simulations of water temperature, this study focused on detecting possible trends in water temperature over the entire study interval 1961–2017 and in the sub-intervals 1961–1987 and 1988–2017. The analysis of the simulated temperature showed that epilimnetic temperature has increased on average by +0.43 °C/decade and +0.809 °C/decade in spring and autumn in the sub-interval 1988–2017. Summer epilimnetic temperature has increased by +0.348 °C/decade over the entire interval 1961–2017. Hypolimnetic temperature has increased significantly in the sub-interval 1988–2016 by +0.827 °C/decade in autumn. Whole-lake temperature showed a significant increasing trend in the sub-interval 1988–2017 during spring (+0.378 °C/decade) and in autumn (+0.809 °C/decade). Moreover, this study showed that changes in the phenology of thermal stratification, have occurred over the 57-years period of study. Since 1961 the stability of stratification (Schmidt Stability) has increased by 5.535 J m−2/decade. The duration of thermal stratification has increased by 7.083 days/decade, correspondent with an earlier onset of stratification of ~ 16 days and to a delay of stratification termination of ~ 26 days. The average thermocline depth during stratification became shallower by ~ 1.242 m, and surface-bottom temperature difference increased over time by +0.249 °C/decade. The creation of daily-time step water temperature dataset not only provided evidence of changes in Erken thermal structure over the last decades, but it is also a valuable resource of information that can help in future research on the ecology of Lake Erken. The use of readily available meteorological data to reconstruct Lake Erken's past water temperature is shown to be a useful method to evaluate long-term changes in lake thermal structure, and it is a method that can be extended to other lakes.

Simone Moras et al.
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Simone Moras et al.
Data sets

Simulation of Lake Erken water temperature (1961-2017) with GOTM: Model configuration, input data, output data and observed water temperature S. Moras, A. I. Ayala, and D. Pierson

Simone Moras et al.
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Short summary
We used a hydrodynamic model to reconstruct daily historical water temperature of Lake Erken (Sweden) between 1961–2017 to demonstrate the ongoing effect of climate change on lake thermal conditions. The results show that the lake has warmed most rapidly in the last 30 years and that it is now subject to a longer and more stable stratification. The methods used here to reconstruct historical water temperature records can be easily extended to other lakes.
We used a hydrodynamic model to reconstruct daily historical water temperature of Lake Erken...