EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling evaporation from northern waterbodies, the case of an 85-km2 reservoir

Habiba Kallel1, Murray Mackay2, Antoine Thiboult1, Daniel Nadeau1, and François Anctil1
Habiba Kallel et al.
  • 1Laval University, Science and engineering, Water and Civil engineering, Canada (
  • 2Meteorological Research Division Science and Technology, Branch Environment and Climate Change Canada

Freshwater bodies represent 9% of Canada’s total land area, with more than half of these having a surface area smaller than 100 km2. Taking into account the interactions between lakes and the atmosphere in meteorological models is crucial, considering the marked differences with the surrounding land masses (low albedo, unlimited source of water, high thermal capacity, etc.). Open water evaporation, in particular, is often a challenge because of its intangible nature and the scarcity of direct observations. This project focuses on the modeling of the surface energy budget of a reservoir located in the boreal biome of eastern Canada, with an emphasis on the evaporation. Observations are available for the 85-km2 La Romaine 2 hydroelectric reservoir (50.7°N, 63.2°W), where two micrometeorological towers were deployed: one operated yearlong on the shore and one operated on a floating deck during ice-free conditions. Modeling resorts to the Canadian Small Lake Model (CSLM), a one-dimensional land surface model designed to integrate the lake-atmosphere fluxes into meteorological models. The model also simulates the thermal regime of the water body, including ice formation. Lastly, the model can be used for climate and weather prediction, which may be a useful for reservoir management. Comparison of field observations and simulations confirms the CSLM ability to reproduce the turbulent fluxes and the temperature behavior of the reservoir except for some specific periods, in particular the ice breakups and freeze-ups. The model somehow underestimates the water temperature resulting in a premature depletion of the lake heat storage in autumn. It also overreacts to high wind episodes.

How to cite: Kallel, H., Mackay, M., Thiboult, A., Nadeau, D., and Anctil, F.: Modeling evaporation from northern waterbodies, the case of an 85-km2 reservoir, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13049,, 2021.

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