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Estimation of Water Temperature of Large Lakes in Cold Climate Regions during the Period of Strong Coupling between Water and Air Temperature Fluctuations

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  • 1 Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • | 2 National Hydrology Research Institute, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Abstract

Near-surface bulk water temperature measured in large northern lakes during the warm season with buoys can be characterized by three components: a slowly varying seasonal-/climate-related trend, fluctuations at the time scale of weather perturbations, and rapid daily fluctuations. When thermal infrared data are used to estimate surface water temperature, an additional term relating the differences between the skin and bulk temperatures is implied. Buoy data in this work serve to demonstrate the existence of a period of strong signal coupling between fluctuations of water temperature and air temperature. The period of strong signal coupling does not extend beyond the date of maximum temperature in the water temperature trend. During this period, a simple linear transformation of air temperature fluctuations can be used to simulate the buoy water temperature fluctuations. Attempts to simulate water temperature fluctuations from air temperature alone are not possible beyond this period. Water temperature simulation error depends on the distance of the air temperature measurement from the buoy, ranging from ±1.1°C at 0 km to ±1.4°C at 40 km. The method developed with buoy data is applied to the combination of satellite thermal infrared and operationally measured air temperature data to simulate water temperatures. Through the use of satellite data, the water temperature simulations are extended beyond the period of strong coupling.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Normand Bussières, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T4, Canada. Email: normand.bussieres@ec.gc.ca

Abstract

Near-surface bulk water temperature measured in large northern lakes during the warm season with buoys can be characterized by three components: a slowly varying seasonal-/climate-related trend, fluctuations at the time scale of weather perturbations, and rapid daily fluctuations. When thermal infrared data are used to estimate surface water temperature, an additional term relating the differences between the skin and bulk temperatures is implied. Buoy data in this work serve to demonstrate the existence of a period of strong signal coupling between fluctuations of water temperature and air temperature. The period of strong signal coupling does not extend beyond the date of maximum temperature in the water temperature trend. During this period, a simple linear transformation of air temperature fluctuations can be used to simulate the buoy water temperature fluctuations. Attempts to simulate water temperature fluctuations from air temperature alone are not possible beyond this period. Water temperature simulation error depends on the distance of the air temperature measurement from the buoy, ranging from ±1.1°C at 0 km to ±1.4°C at 40 km. The method developed with buoy data is applied to the combination of satellite thermal infrared and operationally measured air temperature data to simulate water temperatures. Through the use of satellite data, the water temperature simulations are extended beyond the period of strong coupling.

Corresponding author address: Mr. Normand Bussières, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T4, Canada. Email: normand.bussieres@ec.gc.ca

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