Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-218
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-218

  09 Aug 2021

09 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Evaporation over glacial lakes in Antarctica

Elena Shevnina1, Miguel Potes2, Timo Vihma1, Tuomas Naakka1, Pankaj R. Dhote3, and Praveen K. Thakur3 Elena Shevnina et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Institute Earth Science, Evora, Portugal
  • 3Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, India

Abstract. The water cycle in glacier hydrological networks is not well known in Antarctica. We present the first evaluations of evaporation over a glacial lake located in the Schirmacher oasis, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. Lake Zub/Priyadarshini is a shallow lake of the epiglacial type, and it is ice free for almost two months in summer (December–February). We evaluated evaporation over the ice free surface of Lake Zub/Priyadarshini using various methods including the eddy covariance (EC) method, the bulk aerodynamic method, and Dalton type empirical equations. The evaporation was estimated on the basis of data collected during a field experiment in December–February, 2017–2018, and regular observations at the nearest meteorological site. The EC was considered as the most accurate method providing the reference estimates for the evaporation over the lake surface. The EC method suggests that the mean daily evaporation was 3.0 mm day−1 in January, 2018. The bulk-aerodynamic method, based on observations at the lake shore as an input, yielded a mean daily evaporation of 2.3 mm day−1 for January. One of the Dalton type equations was better in estimating the summer mean evaporation, but the bulk aerodynamic method was much better in producing the day-to-day variations in evaporation. The summer evaporation over the ice-free Lake Zub/Priyadarshini exceeded the summer precipitation by a factor of 10. Hence, evaporation is a major term of the water balance of glacial lakes. Evaluation of the evaporation products of ERA5 reanalysis clearly demonstrated the need to add glacial lakes in the surface scheme of ERA5. Presently the area-averaged evaporation of ERA5 is strongly underestimated in the lake-rich region studied here.

Elena Shevnina et al.

Status: open (until 12 Oct 2021)

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Elena Shevnina et al.

Elena Shevnina et al.

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Short summary
We present the first evaluations of evaporation over a glacial lake located East Antarctica. We evaluated evaporation over the lake ice free surface using various methods, and estimated the errors inherent to them. The evaporation was evaluated on the basis of data collected during a field experiment. We conclude that evaporation is a major term of the water balance of glacial lakes, and our results demonstrated the need to account the glacial lakes in regional weather and climate prediction.