Ice cover decay and heat balance in Lake Kilpisjärvi in Arctic tundra Ice decay in Lake Kilpisjärvi

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Matti Leppäranta *
Elisa Lindgren
Lijuan Wen
Georgiy Kirillin
(*) Corresponding Author:
Matti Leppäranta |


To gain more understanding of lake ice melting process, field research was carried out in an arctic tundra lake, Kilpisjärvi (surface area 37.1 km2, maximum depth 57 m) in the melting periods of 2013 and 2014. The heat budget of the ice cover was dominated by the radiation balance; turbulent heat fluxes were large in 2013 due to warm air advection but small in 2014. Transmittance of solar radiation through ice was 0.25 in 2013 and 0.10 in 2014, snow-ice was absent in 2013 but in 2014 accounted for 50% of the ice cover. The melting rate was 4.4 cm    d-1 in 2013, 1.9 cm d-1 in 2014. The portions of surface, bottom and internal melting were, respectively, 2.9, 1.0 and 0.5 cm d-1 in 2013 and 0.8, 1.0 and 0.1 cm d-1 in 2014. Internal melting was realized in increase of ice porosity. In 2013 a rapid ice breakage event completed the ice breakup in short time when ice porosity had reached 40-50%. A lake ice melting model should include the thickness and porosity of ice, with porosity connected to an ice strength criterion.

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