The alpha, beta, gamma of evaporation from saline water bodies


  • Atul M. Salhotra,

  • E. Eric Adams,

  • Donald R. F. Harleman


Evaporation from a saline water body is less than that from a freshwater body because of two factors: a decrease in saturation vapor pressure and a partially compensating increase in water surface temperature. These factors are quantified by analyzing field data for eight evaporation pans containing solutions with different salinities and ionic compositions (extending the analysis of Salhotra et al. (1985)). A large saline lake (Dead Sea) is also analyzed using a one-dimensional numerical model with coupled heat, salt, water, and mechanical energy balances. Further, the use of experiments involving evaporation pans, to study the effect of salinity on lake evaporation, is discussed in light of the fact that the two water bodies have different wind speed functions and hence different temperature feedback effects. Finally, data on the direct measurement of the saturation vapor pressure from mixtures of Mediterranean and Dead Sea waters are presented and compared with results from the analyses of the evaporation pan data.