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Water 2017, 9(8), 603; doi:10.3390/w9080603

Understanding the Temperature Variations and Thermal Structure of a Subtropical Deep River-Run Reservoir before and after Impoundment

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Department of Civil Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5337, USA
School of Environment and Resource, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
Department of S&T and Environment Protection, China Three Gorges Corporation, Beijing 100038, China
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling in Lakes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7778 KB, uploaded 15 August 2017]   |  


A two-dimensional hydrodynamic CE-QUAL-W2 model was configured for a deep subtropical river-run reservoir, the Xiluodu Reservoir (XLDR), in China to simulate water temperature in the first two years of impoundment (2013–2014) using measured data as model input. It was calibrated using observed temperature profiles near the dam and the outflow temperatures. Observed daily temperatures at four gauging stations upstream or downstream of XLDR before (2000–2012) and after the impoundment (4 May 2013) were analyzed and fitted with a sine function representing seasonal temperature variation. The fitted annual temperature phase shifts showed no phase delay in XLDR area before the impoundment but revealed a phase delay about 17 days between outflow and inflow after the impoundment, which was not caused by the air temperature variation. The simulated temperatures verified a similar phase delay after the impoundment. The simulated temperatures, water ages, and vertical temperature gradients demonstrated an average metalimnetic deepening rate of 0.49 m/day (average inflow ~4500 m3/s) while the largest rate due to massive inflow (~15,000 m3/s) was 1.67 m/day. The W2 model was run under hypothetic scenarios of different inflow/outflow rates and outflow withdrawn elevations. The results revealed that greater inflow/outflow rate could lead to higher metalimnetic deepening rate and smaller outflow phase delay, while deeper outflow withdrawn could lead to deeper metalimnion and larger epilimnetic depth. View Full-Text
Keywords: reservoir; temperature; phase delay; outflow; thermal regime; two-dimensional model; CE-QUAL-W2 reservoir; temperature; phase delay; outflow; thermal regime; two-dimensional model; CE-QUAL-W2

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xie, Q.; Liu, Z.; Fang, X.; Chen, Y.; Li, C.; MacIntyre, S. Understanding the Temperature Variations and Thermal Structure of a Subtropical Deep River-Run Reservoir before and after Impoundment. Water 2017, 9, 603.

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