Wind effects on the water age in a large shallow lake

Sien Liu, Qinghua Ye*, Shiqiang Wu, Marcel J.F. Stive

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


As the third largest fresh water lake in China, Taihu Lake is suffering from serious eutrophication, where nutrient loading from tributary and surrounding river networks is one of the main contributors. In this study, water age is used to investigate the impacts of tributary discharge and wind influence on nutrient status in Taihu Lake, quantitatively. On the base of sub-basins of upstream catchments and boundary conditions of the lake, multiple inflow tributaries are categorized into three groups. For each group, the water age has been computed accordingly. A well-calibrated and validated three-dimensional Delft3D model is used to investigate both spatial and temporal heterogeneity of water age. Changes in wind direction lead to changes in both the average value and spatial pattern of water age, while the impact of wind speed differs in each tributary group. Water age decreases with higher inflow discharge from tributaries; however, discharge effects are less significant than that of wind. Wind speed decline, such as that induced by climate change, has negative effects on both internal and external nutrient source release, and results in water quality deterioration. Water age is proved to be an effective indicator of water exchange efficiency, which may help decision-makers to carry out integrated water management at a complex basin scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1246
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Delft3D
  • Meteorological influence
  • Shallow lake
  • Sub-basins
  • Water age


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