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Diel surface temperature range scales with lake size

Woolway, R. I. ORCID:, Jones, I. D., Maberly, S. C., French, J. R., Livingstone, D. M., Monteith, D. T., Simpson, G. L., Thackeray, S. J., Andersen, M. R., Battarbee, R. W., DeGasperi, C. L., Evans, C. D., de Eyto, E., Feuchtmayr, H., Hamilton, D. P., Kernan, M., Krokowski, J., Rimmer, A., Rose, K. C., Rusak, J. A. , Ryves, D. B., Scott, D. R., Shilland, E. M., Smyth, R. L., Staehr, P. A., Thomas, R., Waldron, S. and Weyhenmeyer, G. A. (2016) Diel surface temperature range scales with lake size. PLoS ONE, 11 (3). e0152466. ISSN 1932-6203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152466


Ecological and biogeochemical processes in lakes are strongly dependent upon water temperature. Long-term surface warming of many lakes is unequivocal, but little is known about the comparative magnitude of temperature variation at diel timescales, due to a lack of appropriately resolved data. Here we quantify the pattern and magnitude of diel temperature variability of surface waters using high-frequency data from 100 lakes. We show that the near-surface diel temperature range can be substantial in summer relative to long-term change and, for lakes smaller than 3 km2, increases sharply and predictably with decreasing lake area. Most small lakes included in this study experience average summer diel ranges in their near-surface temperatures of between 4 and 7°C. Large diel temperature fluctuations in the majority of lakes undoubtedly influence their structure, function and role in biogeochemical cycles, but the full implications remain largely unexplored.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:65523
Publisher:Public Library of Science


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