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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 377–391, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-377-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 377–391, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-377-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 24 Jan 2017

Research article | 24 Jan 2017

Satellite-derived light extinction coefficient and its impact on thermal structure simulations in a 1-D lake model

Kiana Zolfaghari, Claude R. Duguay, and Homa Kheyrollah Pour Kiana Zolfaghari et al.
  • Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change and Department of Geography & Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada

Abstract. A global constant value of the extinction coefficient (Kd) is usually specified in lake models to parameterize water clarity. This study aimed to improve the performance of the 1-D freshwater lake (FLake) model using satellite-derived Kd for Lake Erie. The CoastColour algorithm was applied to MERIS satellite imagery to estimate Kd. The constant (0.2 m−1) and satellite-derived Kd values as well as radiation fluxes and meteorological station observations were then used to run FLake for a meteorological station on Lake Erie. Results improved compared to using the constant Kd value (0.2 m−1). No significant improvement was found in FLake-simulated lake surface water temperature (LSWT) when Kd variations in time were considered using a monthly average. Therefore, results suggest that a time-independent, lake-specific, and constant satellite-derived Kd value can reproduce LSWT with sufficient accuracy for the Lake Erie station.

A sensitivity analysis was also performed to assess the impact of various Kd values on the simulation outputs. Results show that FLake is sensitive to variations in Kd to estimate the thermal structure of Lake Erie. Dark waters result in warmer spring and colder fall temperatures compared to clear waters. Dark waters always produce colder mean water column temperature (MWCT) and lake bottom water temperature (LBWT), shallower mixed layer depth (MLD), longer ice cover duration, and thicker ice. The sensitivity of FLake to Kd variations was more pronounced in the simulation of MWCT, LBWT, and MLD. The model was particularly sensitive to Kd values below 0.5 m−1. This is the first study to assess the value of integrating Kd from the satellite-based CoastColour algorithm into the FLake model. Satellite-derived Kd is found to be a useful input parameter for simulations with FLake and possibly other lake models, and it has potential for applicability to other lakes where Kd is not commonly measured.

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A remotely-sensed water clarity value (Kd) was applied to improve FLake model simulations of Lake Erie thermal structure using a time-invariant (constant) annual value as well as monthly values of Kd. The sensitivity of FLake model to Kd values was studied. It was shown that the model is very sensitive to variations in Kd when the value is less than 0.5 m-1.
A remotely-sensed water clarity value (Kd) was applied to improve FLake model simulations of...
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