44 Evaporation from Lakes
Part 4. Hydrometeorology
Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences
How to Cite
Finch, J. W. and Hall, R. L. 2006. Evaporation from Lakes. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 4:44.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Lakes are an important part of the hydrological cycle, but quantifying the evaporation rates from them is not a trivial task. The amount of radiant energy captured by a lake is generally the dominant control on the annual evaporation rate. At shorter time periods, the major factors affecting lake evaporation are: the albedo, the heat-storage term of the energy budget, and the atmospheric diffusion processes. The albedo is a function of the solar elevation angle and the proportion of downward diffuse radiation, and can be predicted from empirical relationships. The heat-storage term can decouple the evaporation rates from the net radiation, but can be estimated simply in the case of well-mixed water. However, in the situation where the lake becomes thermally stratified, more complex, hydrodynamic models are required. The three commonly used methods of estimating lake evaporation are: mass transfer, energy balance, and combination equations. There are strengths and limitations to each of these methods.
- open water;
- available energy;
- heat storage