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Title (Primary) Ice-covered lakes of Tibetan Plateau as solar heat collectors
Author Kirillin, G.B.; Shatwell, T.; Wen, L.
Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Year 2021
Department SEEFO
Volume 48
Issue 14
Page From e2021GL093429
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
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Abstract The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau possesses the largest alpine lake system, which plays a crucial role in the land-atmosphere interaction. We report first observations on the thermal and radiation regime under ice of the largest freshwater lake of the Plateau. The results reveal that freshwater lakes on the Tibetan Plateau fully mix under ice. Due to strong solar heating, water temperatures increase above the maximum density value 1-2 months before the ice break, forming stable thermal stratification with subsurface temperatures > 6 °C. The resulting heat flow from water to ice makes a crucial contribution to ice cover melt. After the ice breakup, the accumulated heat is released into the atmosphere during 1-2 days, increasing lake-atmosphere heat fluxes up to 500 W m−2. The direct biogeochemical consequences of the deep convective mixing are aeration of the deep lake waters and upward supply of nutrients to the upper photic layer.
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Kirillin, G.B., Shatwell, T., Wen, L. (2021):
Ice-covered lakes of Tibetan Plateau as solar heat collectors
Geophys. Res. Lett. 48 (14), e2021GL093429