Accessibility navigation

Evaluation of the WRF lake module (v1.0) and its improvements at a deep reservoir

Wang, F., Ni, G., Riley, W. J., Tang, J., Dejun, Z. and Sun, T. (2019) Evaluation of the WRF lake module (v1.0) and its improvements at a deep reservoir. Geoscientific Model Development, 12. pp. 2119-2138. ISSN 1991-9603

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/gmd-12-2119-2019


Large lakes and reservoirs play important roles in modulating regional hydrological cycles and climate; however, their representations in coupled models remain uncertain. The existing lake module in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) system (hereafter WRF-Lake), although widely used, did not accurately predict temperature profiles in deep lakes mainly due to its poor lake surface property parameterizations and underestimation of heat transfer between lake layers. We therefore revised WRF-Lake by improving its (1) numerical discretization scheme; (2) surface property parameterization; (3) diffusivity parameterization for deep lakes; and (4) convection scheme, the outcome of which became WRF-rLake (i.e., revised lake model). We evaluated the off-line WRF-rLake by comparing simulated and measured water temperature at the Nuozhadu Reservoir, a deep reservoir in southwestern China. WRF-rLake performs better than its predecessor by reducing the root-mean-square error (RMSE) against observed lake surface temperatures (LSTs) from 1.4 to 1.1 ∘C and consistently improving simulated vertical temperature profiles. We also evaluated the sensitivity of simulated water temperature and surface energy fluxes to various modeled lake processes. We found (1) large changes in surface energy balance fluxes (up to 60 W m−2) associated with the improved surface property parameterization and (2) that the simulated lake thermal structure depends strongly on the light extinction coefficient and vertical diffusivity. Although currently only evaluated at the Nuozhadu Reservoir, we expect that these model parameterization and structural improvements could be general and therefore recommend further testing at other deep lakes and reservoirs.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:83835
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation