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https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-156
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-156
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 27 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The influence of albedo parameterization for improved lake ice simulation

Alexis L. Robinson1, Sarah S. Ariano2, and Laura C. Brown1 Alexis L. Robinson et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, L5L 1C6, Canada
  • 2Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, M5B 1G3, Canada

Abstract. Lake ice models can be used to study the latitudinal differences of current and projected changes in ice covered lakes under a changing climate. The Canadian Lake Ice Model (CLIMo) is a one-dimensional freshwater ice cover model that simulates Arctic and sub-Arctic lake ice cover well. Modelling ice cover in temperate regions has presented challenges due to the differences in composition between northern and temperate ice. This study presents a comparison of measured and modelled ice regimes, with a focus on refining CLIMo for temperate regions. The study sites include two temperate region lakes (MacDonald Lake and Clear Lake, Central Ontario) and two High Arctic lakes (Resolute Lake and Small Lake, Nunavut) where climate and ice cover information have been recorded over three seasons. The ice cover simulations were validated with a combination of time lapse imagery, field measurements of snow depth, snow density, ice thickness and albedo data, and historical ice records from the Canadian Ice Database (for Resolute Lake). Simulations of the High Arctic ice cover show good agreement with previous studies for ice-on and ice-off dates (MAE 6 to 8 days). Unadjusted simulations for the temperate region lakes show both an underestimation in ice thickness (~ 4 to 18 cm) and ice-off timing (~ 25 to 30 days). Field measurements were used to adjust the albedo parameterization used in CLIMo, which resulted in improvements to both simulated ice thickness, within 0.1 cm to 10 cm of manual measurements, and ice-off timing, within 1 to 7 days of observations. These findings suggest regionally specific measurements of albedo can improve the accuracy of lake ice simulations.

These results further our knowledge regarding of the response of temperate and High Arctic lake ice regimes to climate conditions.

Alexis L. Robinson et al.

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Alexis L. Robinson et al.

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Latest update: 30 May 2020
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Short summary
We present a comparison of measured and modelled ice phenology for High Arctic and temperate latitudes. Our findings show the importance of regionally specific snow and ice albedo parameterization is critical to the simulation of ice cover due to the impacts of albedo on ice thickness, melt and ice-off dates. Field measured temperate region snow and ice albedo resulted in improvements to modelled ice thickness (~ 0.1–10 cm of field data) and improved the modelled ice-off timing to 1 to 7 days.
We present a comparison of measured and modelled ice phenology for High Arctic and temperate...
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