Simulation of Lake Surface Heat Fluxes by the Canadian Small Lake Model: Offline Performance Assessment for Future Coupling with a Regional Climate Model

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Patricia Pernica1, Jose-Luis Guerrero1, Murray MacKay2 and Howard S Wheater1, (1)University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, (2)Environment Canada Toronto, Science and Technology Branch, Toronto, ON, Canada
Lakes strongly influence local and regional climate especially in regions where they are abundant. Development of a lake model for the purpose of integration within a regional climate model is therefore a subject of scientific interest. Of particular importance are the heat flux predictions provided by the lake model since they function as key forcings in a fully coupled atmosphere-land-lake system. The first step towards a coupled model is to validate and characterize the accuracy of the lake model over a range of conditions and to identify limitations. In this work, validation results from offline tests of the Canadian Small Lake Model; a deterministic, computationally efficient, 1D integral model, are presented. Heat fluxes (sensible and latent) and surface water temperatures simulated by the model are compared with in situ observations from two lakes; Landing Lake (NWT, Canada) and L239 (ELA, Canada) for the 2007-2009 period. Sensitivity analysis is performed to identify key parameters important for heat flux predictions. The results demonstrate the ability of the 1-D lake model to reproduce both diurnal and seasonal variations in heat fluxes and surface temperatures for the open water period. These results, in context of regional climate modelling are also discussed.