Summer thermal structure and anticyclonic circulation of Lake Erie

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Abstract

In most thermally stratified lakes, the summer thermocline has the shape of a "dome", with a shallower depth offshore than nearshore. This configuration is accompanied by a lake-wide cyclonic circulation. Lake-wide observations of subsurface temperature in central Lake Erie revealed an atypical "depressed" or "bowl-shaped" thermocline in late summer, with a deeper thermocline in the middle of the lake and a shallower thermocline nearshore. Currents measured in the central basin when the bowl-shaped thermocline was observed were anticyclonic, forming a single basin-wide gyre. It is suggested that the unusual bowl-shaped thermocline is the result of Ekman pumping driven by anticyclonic vorticity in surface winds. The bowl-shaped thermocline can lead to greater hypoxia in bottom waters and negative effects on biota by reducing the hypolimnetic volume. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.

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APA

Beletsky, D., Hawley, N., Rao, Y. R., Vanderploeg, H. A., Beletsky, R., Schwab, D. J., & Ruberg, S. A. (2012). Summer thermal structure and anticyclonic circulation of Lake Erie. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(6). https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL051002

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