08 Feb 2024
 | 08 Feb 2024

Simulating lake ice phenology using a coupled atmosphere-lake model at Lake Nam Co, a typical deep alpine lake on the Tibetan Plateau

Xu Zhou, Binbin Wang, Xiaogang Ma, Zhu La, and Kun Yang

Abstract. Simulating the ice phenology of deep alpine lakes is important and challenging in coupled atmosphere-lake models. In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, coupled with two lake models, the fresh-water lake model (WRF-FLake) and the default lake model (WRF-Lake), was applied to lake Nam Co, a typical deep alpine lake located in the centre of the Tibetan Plateau, to simulate its lake ice phenology. Due to the large errors in simulating lake ice phenology, related key parameters and parameterizations were improved in the coupled model based on observations and physics-based schemes. By improving the momentum, hydraulic and thermal roughness length parameterizations, both the WRF-FLake and the WRF-Lake models reasonably simulated the lake freeze-up date. By improving the key parameters associated with shortwave radiation transfer process when lake ice exists, both models generally simulated the lake break-up date well. Compared with WRF-Lake without improvements, the coupled model with both revised lake models significantly improved the simulation of lake ice phenology. However, there were still considerable errors in simulating the spatial patterns of freeze-up and break-up dates, implying that significant challenges in simulating the lake ice phenology still exist in representing some important model physics, including lake physics such as grid-scale water circulation, and atmospheric processes such as snowfall and surface snow dynamics. Therefore, this work can provide valuable new implications for advancing lake ice phenology simulations in coupled models and the improved model also has practical application prospects in weather and climate forecasts.

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Xu Zhou, Binbin Wang, Xiaogang Ma, Zhu La, and Kun Yang

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2455', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Mar 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', xu zhou, 23 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2455', Laura Rontu, 14 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', xu zhou, 23 May 2024
Xu Zhou, Binbin Wang, Xiaogang Ma, Zhu La, and Kun Yang
Xu Zhou, Binbin Wang, Xiaogang Ma, Zhu La, and Kun Yang


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Short summary
Simulating the ice phenology of Nam Co by WRF model is investigated. Compared with default model, improving the key model schemes, such as water surface roughness length and the shortwave radiation transfer for lake ice, can better simulate the lake ice phenology. The still existing errors in the spatial patterns of lake ice phenology imply that challenges still exist in modelling key lake and non-lake physics such as grid-scale water circulation, snowfall and snow related processes.