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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-421
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-421
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 06 Nov 2019

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

Thermal regime, energy budget and lake evaporation at Paiku Co, a deep alpine lake in the central Himalayas

Yanbin Lei1,2, Tandong Yao1,2, Kun Yang1,2,3, Zhu La1, Yaoming Ma1,2,4, and Broxton W. Bird5 Yanbin Lei et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth System, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 3Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 10084, China
  • 4University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 5Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Abstract. Evaporation from hydrologically-closed lakes is one of the largest components of their lake water budget, however, its effects on seasonal lake level changes is less investigated due to lack of comprehensive observation of lake water budget. In this study, lake evaporation were determined through energy budget method at Paiku Co, a deep alpine lake in the central Himalayas, based on three years' in-situ observations of thermal structure and hydrometeorology (2015–2018). Results show that Paiku Co was thermally stratified between July and October and fully mixed between November and June. Between April and July when the lake gradually warmed, about 66.5 % of the net radiation was consumed to heat the lake water. Between October and January when the lake cooled, heat released from lake water was about 3 times larger than the net radiation. Changes in lake heat storage largely determined the seasonal pattern of lake evaporation. There was about a 5 month lag between the maximum lake evaporation and maximum net radiation due to the large heat capacity of lake water. Lake evaporation was estimated to be 975 ± 39 mm between May and December during the study period, with low values in spring and early summer, and high values in autumn and early winter. The seasonal pattern of lake evaporation at Paiku Co significantly affects lake level seasonality, that is, significant lake level decrease in post-monsoon season while slight in pre-monsoon. This study may have implications for the different amplitudes of seasonal lake level variations between deep and shallow lakes.

Yanbin Lei et al.
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