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Simulating Hydrodynamics and Ice Cover in Lake Erie Using an Unstructured Grid Model

Author(s): Ayumi Fujisaki Manome; Jia Wang

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Abstract: An unstructured grid Finite-Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM) is applied to Lake Erie to simulate seasonal ice cover. The model is coupled with an unstructured-grid, finite-volume version of the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (UG-CICE). This model (FVCOM-Ice hereafter) is applied to a shallow freshwater lake for the first time in this study. We conducted multi-year simulations in Lake Erie from 2003 to 2012. The results were compared with the observed ice extent, water surface temperature, ice thickness, currents, and water temperature profiles. The older model results from the Princeton Ocean Model coupled with an ice model are also included in comparison. Seasonal and interannual variation of ice extent and water temperature was captured reasonably. Decay of ice melting in spring is better simulated by FVCOM-Ice than the old model, while the old model tends to simulate too fast decay of ice extent. The model performance were similar between the two models in simulating water surface temperature and current speed, while FVCOM-Ice slightly outperformed the older model in terms of the root mean square error and the correlation coefficient in comparison with the observed water surface temperature and current speed, respectively.

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Year: 2016

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