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Open AccessArticle

13 Years of Storms: An Analysis of the Effects of Storms on Lake Physics on the Atlantic Fringe of Europe

1
Dundalk Institute of Technology, Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies, Dundalk, A91K584 Co. Louth, Ireland
2
Marine Institute, Furnace, F28PF65 Co. Mayo, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020318
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
While winter storms are generally common in western Europe, the rarer summer storms may result in more pronounced impacts on lake physics. Using long-term, high frequency datasets of weather and lake thermal structure from the west of Ireland (2005 to 2017), we quantified the effects of storms on the physical conditions in a monomictic, deep lake close to the Atlantic Ocean. We analysed a total of 227 storms during the stratified (May to September, n = 51) and non-stratified (November to March, n = 176) periods. In winter, as might be expected, changes were distributed over the entire water column, whereas in summer, when the lake was stratified, storms only impacted the smaller volume above the thermocline. During an average summer (May–September) storm, the lake number dropped by an order of magnitude, the thermocline deepened by an average of 2.8 m, water column stability decreased by an average of 60.4 j m−2 and the epilimnion temperature decreased by a factor of five compared to the average change in winter (0.5 °C vs. 0.1 °C). Projected increases in summer storm frequency will have important implications for lake physics and biological pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: storms; storm events; summer storms; thermocline; lake physics; heat fluxes; Lough Feeagh storms; storm events; summer storms; thermocline; lake physics; heat fluxes; Lough Feeagh
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Andersen, M.R.; de Eyto, E.; Dillane, M.; Poole, R.; Jennings, E. 13 Years of Storms: An Analysis of the Effects of Storms on Lake Physics on the Atlantic Fringe of Europe. Water 2020, 12, 318.

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