Three-dimensional simulation of lake and ice dynamics during winter

A. Oveisy, L. Boegman and J. Imberger

Limnol. Oceanogr., 57(1), 2012, 43-57 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2012.57.1.0043

ABSTRACT: An ice-formation algorithm is implemented in the three-dimensional Estuary and Lake Computer Model, to allow simulation of hydrodynamics and the thermal structure beneath the ice during winter. The one-dimensional governing equation of heat conduction among the three layers of white ice, blue ice, and snow is solved for the formation of ice cover considering the heat flux through air and water. This algorithm is applied independently in each grid cell within the simulation domain, allowing for spatially variable ice formation. The model was validated against observed data from both a large and a small Canadian mid-latitude lake (Lake Ontario and Harmon Lake, respectively). The lake surface temperature and the distribution and thickness of ice cover on Lake Ontario were predicted successfully during the 2006-2007 winter period. The model also accurately simulated spring 2007 temperature profiles, as typically used for the initial conditions for a summer simulation. The variation of ice and snow thickness, and vertical temperature profiles, were well-simulated for Harmon Lake during winter 1990-1991. These comparisons demonstrate the applicability of the model for year-round simulation of mid-latitude lakes of varying size.

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