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Title: Turbulence in a small boreal lake: Consequences for air–water gas exchange
The hydrodynamics within small boreal lakes have rarely been studied, yet knowing whether turbulence at the air-water interface and in the water column scales with metrics developed elsewhere is essential for computing metabolism and fluxes of climate-forcing trace gases. We instrumented a humic, 4.7 ha, boreal lake with 2 meteorological stations, 3 thermistor arrays, an infra-red (IR) camera to quantify surface divergence, obtained turbulence as dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy (ε) using an acoustic Doppler velocimeter and a temperature-gradient microstructure profiler, and conducted chamber measurements for short periods to obtain fluxes and gas transfer velocities (k). Near-surface ε varied from 10-8 m2 s-3 to 10-6 m2 s-3 for the 0 to 4 m s-1 winds and followed predictions from Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. The coefficient of eddy diffusivity in the mixed layer was up to 10-3 m2 s-1 on the windiest afternoons, an order of magnitude less other afternoons, and near molecular at deeper depths. The upper thermocline upwelled when Lake numbers (LN) dropped below 4 facilitating vertical and horizontal exchange. k computed from a surface renewal model using ε agreed with values from chambers and surface divergence and increased linearly with wind speed. Diurnal thermoclines formed on sunny days when winds were < 3 m s-1, a condition that can lead to elevated near-surface ε and k. Results extend scaling approaches developed in the laboratory and for larger water bodies, illustrate turbulence and k are greater than expected in small wind-sheltered lakes, and provide new equations to quantify fluxes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1737411 1753856
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Limnology and Oceanography
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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