BUILD MY OWN LAKE TEMPERATURE MODEL!
BUILD MY OWN LAKE TEMPERATURE MODEL!

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Here is your chance to build you own lake model! There are many factors that may determine the surface temperature of you lake and how that temperature changes with depth. This is known as the lake temperature profile. There are a few factors that can affect how you lake warms up and how your lake stratifies and mixes. Below you need to first input your lake's' characteristics to customize your model. Then add the current lake temperature by pairing lake temperature with lake depth. At this time, this tool only works in the US

Lake Characteristics

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Lake Name: You can use any name you want, but we suggest you use the lakes' actual name.

Leave out the "Lake" part of the name, for example use Nokomis for Lake Nokomis.

The lake name will be compbined with the input you use in the next box, resulting in a unique identifier for your lake.

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Lake ID: We suggest that you pick an ID that you will remember such as JohnsLake1

The ID will be combined with the lake name which will become unique ID which you will use to fetch your lake model predictions and make edits.

For example, if you chose Nokomis and JohnsLake1 as the ID, the final lake identifier will be Nokomis_JohnsLake1. Don't loose this name as this will be needed to get your model output.

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Lake Area: This is the lake surface area in acres

Many state agencies provide lake area information. Google Earth Pro has a tool for measuring the area of different features and this tool can be readily employed to get lake area

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Lake Fetch: This is the straight line distance across a lake and it is very important as it determines the degree of wind-induced mixing in your lake.

If your lake is round, its simply the distance across your lake. If it is more like a rectangle, you can measure the long and short distances across your lake and take an average of these two measurments.

You could use the Google Earth Pro measuring tool to determine these distances.

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Lake Depth: This is the maximum depth of your lake. If you want to model a bay that is isolated from the main body of water, you could use that bay's depth if you want to model only that bay.

If there is no reliable source of maximum lake depth data, you will probably have to measure this yourself using a depthfinder or other device.

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Latitude: Add latitude as a decimal degree number

You can find the latitude of your lake at this website

It is important to get a latitude (and longitude) value right over your lake to capture the climate that is directly associated with your lake

Longitude: Add longitude as a decimal degree number like the example in the input box (done forget that longitude is negative in this part of the world)

You can find the longitude of your lake at this website

It is important to get a longitude (and latitude) value right over your lake to capture the climate that is directly associated with your lake

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Average Annual Air Temperature: This is an important parameter as it has an effect on how cold the bottom of your lake is.

You can find the average air temperature of serval US locations by going to this website

Model Inputs

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Sheltering Factor: Some lakes are protected by trees or are located in a valley and do not receive much wind

Other lakes are out on the plains and are constantly windblown.

Whether a lake is protected or windblown can affect how that lake mixes. The "Sheltering Factor" parameter determines the depth of the mixed layer which starts at the lake surface and goes a certain depth into the lake water column. In the mixed layer, all the temperatures are the same. Use the profile tool on the "Check It" page to see if your lake temperature measurements match up with the profile generated by the model.

A Sheltering Factor >1 will result in a more shallow mixed layer and warmer surface temperatures. Sheltering Factors < 1 will increase lake mixing and lead to a deeper mixed layer and overall colder surface temperatures.

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Lake Clarity Factor: The technical name for this is the extinction coefficient and it determines how deep sunlight penetrates into a lake.

The starting point for an extinction coefficent is 0.45. If a value >0.45 is used, more sunlight will be absorbed in the surface layers of the lake and less will penetrate into the lake. A value <0.45 will leed to sunlight reaching greater depths. This affects how lakes stratify and where the thermocline developes.

Very clear lakes have extinction coefficents of around 0.3 (Lake Tahoe's extinction coefficient is 0.12) whereas very turbid lakes have extenction coefficients of 0.8. We suggest starting with 0.45 and make small changes from that point.

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Internal Mixing: The technical name for this is advection-dispersion and it determines how lakes mix below the mixed layer

The user is advised to start with the default value of 1 and make small changes (factor of 0.1) and seee how this affects the lake temperature profile.

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Lake Name: You can use any name you want, but we suggest you use the lakes' actual name.

Leave out the "Lake" part of the name, for example use Nokomis for Lake Nokomis.

The lake name will be compbined with the input you use in the next box, resulting in a unique identifier for your lake.

Initial Conditions

Input Depth

Temperature (oF)