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Winter Circulation in the Presence of Ice in Lake Erie

Author(s): Dmitry Beletsky; Raisa Beletsky; Jia Wang; Nathan Hawley

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Abstract: Winter circulation in the Laurentian Great Lakes is less studied than summer circulation andimpacts of ice on lake circulation and ecology are poorly understood. Lake Erie is at least partially covered with ice from December until April and its normal peak ice cover is about 90%, thehighest of all Great Lakes. Here, we analyze and compare Lake Erie circulation patterns using data from two major observational campaigns conducted during icy winters of 1979-1980 and 2010-2011. Observed circulation patterns are supplemented with results of a three-dimensional coupled Great Lakes Ice-circulation Model (GLIM) that has 20 vertical levels and a uniform horizontal grid size of 2 km. The model is validated with ice concentration data and temperature and currentmeasurements at multiple moorings deployed in the lake’s central basin.


Year: 2016

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