Evaporation from a large lowland reservoir-observed dynamics and drivers during a warm summer

Femke A. Jansen*, Remko Uijlenhoet, Cor M.J. Jacobs, Adriaan J. Teuling

*Corresponding author for this work

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We study the controls on open water evaporation of a large lowland reservoir in the Netherlands. To this end, we analyse the dynamics of open water evaporation at two locations, Stavoren and Trintelhaven, at the border of Lake IJssel (1100ĝ€¯km2); eddy covariance systems were installed at these locations during the summer seasons of 2019 and 2020. These measurements were used to develop data-driven models for both locations. Such a statistical model is a clean and simple approach that can provide a direct indication of (and insight into) the most relevant input parameters involved in explaining the variance in open water evaporation, without making a priori assumptions regarding the process itself. We found that a combination of wind speed and the vertical vapour pressure gradient can explain most of the variability in observed hourly open water evaporation. This is in agreement with Dalton's model, which is a well-established model often used in oceanographic studies for calculating open water evaporation. Validation of the data-driven models demonstrates that a simple model using only two variables yields satisfactory results at Stavoren, with R2 values of 0.84 and 0.78 for hourly and daily data respectively. However, the validation results for Trintelhaven fall short, with R2 values of 0.67 and 0.65 for hourly and daily data respectively. Validation of the simple models that only use routinely measured meteorological variables shows adequate performance at hourly (R2Combining double low line0.78 at Stavoren and R2Combining double low line0.51 at Trintelhaven) and daily (R2Combining double low line0.82 at Stavoren and R2Combining double low line0.87 at Trintelhaven) timescales. These results for the summer periods show that open water evaporation is not directly coupled to global radiation at the hourly or daily timescale. Rather a combination of wind speed and vertical gradient of vapour pressure is the main driver at these timescales. We would like to stress the importance of including the correct drivers of open water evaporation in the parametrization in hydrological models in order to adequately represent the role of evaporation in the surface-Atmosphere coupling of inland waterbodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2875-2898
Number of pages24
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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