Skin effect of fresh water measured using distributed temperature sensing

Anna Solcerova*, Tim van Emmerik, Frans van de Ven, John Selker, Nick van de Giesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


A phenomenon known as the skin effect-a layer of surface water that is colder than the water beneath it-was previously described in oceanography and verified in lab measurements. Only a few measurements have been done on the skin effect in field conditions, and therefore this phenomenon is relatively unknown. This paper presents measurements of the skin effect for three fresh water bodies in the Netherlands, Israel and Ghana. Using Distributed Temperature Sensing, high temporal and spatial resolution measurements were made below, at and above the air-water surface. Measurements presented in this study suggest that the skin effect of fresh water bodies is predominantly a daytime phenomenon and only occurs during low to zero wind speeds. The thickness of the skin effect was measured to be an order of magnitude larger than the previously assumed less than 1 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Hydrology
  • Measurements
  • Surface energy balance
  • Water surface temperature
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


Dive into the research topics of 'Skin effect of fresh water measured using distributed temperature sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this