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Thermal modeling of three lakes within continuous permafrost zone in Alaska using LAKE 2.0 model
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  • Jason Clark,
  • Ken Tape,
  • Elchin Jafarov,
  • Benjamin Jones,
  • Victor Stepanenko,
  • Joel Rowland
Jason Clark
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ken Tape
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Elchin Jafarov
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Benjamin Jones
University of Alaska
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Victor Stepanenko
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
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Joel Rowland
Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.
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​​​​​​​​​Lakes in the Arctic are important reservoirs of heat with much lower albedo and larger absorption of solar radiation than surrounding tundra vegetation. Under climate warming scenarios, we expect Arctic lakes to further accelerate thawing underlying permafrost. Previous studies of Arctic lakes have focused on ice cover and thickness, the ice decay process, catchment hydrology, lake water balance, and eddy covariance measurements, but little work has been done in the Arctic to model lake heat balance. We applied the LAKE model to simulate water temperatures in three Arctic lakes in Northern Alaska over several years. The LAKE model is a one-dimensional that explicitly solves vertical profiles of water state variables on a grid. We used a combination of meteorological data from local and remote weather stations, as well as data derived from remote sensing, to drive the model. We validated simulated water temperatures with data of observed lake temperatures at several depths. Our validation of the LAKE model completes a necessary step toward modeling changes in Arctic lake ice regimes, lake heat balance, and thermal interactions with permafrost. Our results showed that winter precipitation and lake ice plays an important role in forming water temperatures over the winter period. Our findings suggest that reduction in the lake ice thickness and ice time period could lead to more heat storage by lakes and further warming of the Arctic.