Dissipation and mixing during the onset of stratification in a temperate lake, Windermere

Simpson, John H.; Lucas, Natasha S.; Powell, Ben; Maberly, Stephen C.. 2015 Dissipation and mixing during the onset of stratification in a temperate lake, Windermere. Limnology and Oceanography, 60 (1). 29-41.

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Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and chains of temperature sensors were used to observe the spring transition to stable stratification over a 55 day period in a temperate lake. Observations of the flow structure were complemented by measurements of dissipation, based on the Structure Function method, near the lake bed and in the upper part of the water column. During complete vertical mixing, wind-driven motions had horizontally isotropic velocities with roughly equal barotropic and baroclinic kinetic energy. Dissipation was closely correlated with the wind-speed cubed, indicating law of the wall scaling, and had peak values of ~1 x 10-5.5 W kg-1 at 10 m depth during maximum wind forcing (W~ 15 m s-1). As stratification developed, the flow evolved into a predominantly baroclinic regime dominated by the first mode internal seiche, with root mean square (rms) axial flow speeds of ~2-3 cm-1; ~ 2.5-times the transverse component. At 2.8 m above the bed, most of the dissipation occurred in a number of strong maxima coinciding with peaks of near-bed flow. In the pycnocline, dissipation was low most of the time, but with pronounced maxima (reaching ~1 x 10-5 W kg-1) closely related to the local velocity shear. The downward diffusive heat flux across the pycnocline over 27.5 days accounted for ~ 70% of the temperature rise in the water column below. Total lake kinetic energy increased by a factor of 3 between mixed and stratified regimes, in spite of reduced wind forcing, indicating less efficient damping in stable conditions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0024-3590
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Mar 2015 14:44 +0 (UTC)

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