Practical Estimates of Lake Evaporation

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  • 1 National Hydrology Research Institute, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Canada, KIA 0E7
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Abstract

Practical estimates of lake evaporation must rely on data that can be observed in the land environment. This requires the ability to take into account the changes in the temperature and humidity that occur when the air passes from the land to the lake environment. The complementary relationship between potential and areal evapotranspiration provides such a capability and is used herein, in combination with an approximate technique for taking into account subsurface heat storage changes, as the basis for formulating the complementary relationship lake evaporation (CRLE) model. Because it has a realistic basis, the CRLE model can utilize routine climatological data observed in the land environment to provide estimates of lake evaporation anywhere in the world with no need for locally calibrated coefficients. This potential is demonstrated by comparing model estimates with published water budget estimates for sixteen lakes in North America and one lake in East Africa.

Abstract

Practical estimates of lake evaporation must rely on data that can be observed in the land environment. This requires the ability to take into account the changes in the temperature and humidity that occur when the air passes from the land to the lake environment. The complementary relationship between potential and areal evapotranspiration provides such a capability and is used herein, in combination with an approximate technique for taking into account subsurface heat storage changes, as the basis for formulating the complementary relationship lake evaporation (CRLE) model. Because it has a realistic basis, the CRLE model can utilize routine climatological data observed in the land environment to provide estimates of lake evaporation anywhere in the world with no need for locally calibrated coefficients. This potential is demonstrated by comparing model estimates with published water budget estimates for sixteen lakes in North America and one lake in East Africa.

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