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Lake water temperature modeling in an era of climate change: Data sources, models, and future prospects

February 11, 2024

Lake thermal dynamics have been considerably impacted by climate change, with potential adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems. To better understand the potential impacts of future climate change on lake thermal dynamics and related processes, the use of mathematical models is essential. In this study, we provide a comprehensive review of lake water temperature modeling. We begin by discussing the physical concepts that regulate thermal dynamics in lakes, which serve as a primer for the description of process-based models. We then provide an overview of different sources of observational water temperature data, including in situ monitoring and satellite Earth observations, used in the field of lake water temperature modeling. We classify and review the various lake water temperature models available, and then discuss model performance, including commonly used performance metrics and optimization methods. Finally, we analyze emerging modeling approaches, including forecasting, digital twins, combining process-based modeling with deep learning, evaluating structural model differences through ensemble modeling, adapted water management, and coupling of climate and lake models. This review is aimed at a diverse group of professionals working in the fields of limnology and hydrology, including ecologists, biologists, physicists, engineers, and remote sensing researchers from the private and public sectors who are interested in understanding lake water temperature modeling and its potential applications.

Publication Year 2024
Title Lake water temperature modeling in an era of climate change: Data sources, models, and future prospects
DOI 10.1029/2023RG000816
Authors Sebastiano Piccolroaz, Senlin Zhu, Robert Ladwig, Laura Carrea, Samantha K. Oliver, Adam Piotrowski, Mariusz Ptak, Ryuichiro Shinohara, Mariusz Sojka, Richard Woolway, David Z. Zhu
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Review of Geophysics
Index ID 70251990
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center; Upper Midwest Water Science Center