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Cascading of water down the sloping sides of a deep lake in winter

Thorpe, S.A. (2001) Cascading of water down the sloping sides of a deep lake in winter Geophysical Research Letters, 28, (10), pp. 2093-2096. (doi:10.1029/2000GL012599).

Record type: Article


During winter, the temperature of the water overlying the shallow, typically 2–5 m deep, ‘shelf’ region around the edge of the 310 m deep Lake Geneva falls more rapidly than that over deeper areas. This causes the spilling or ‘cascading’ of relatively dense water from the shallows down the sloping sides of the lake in the form of gravity currents, 2–15 m thick and typically 0.1?°C cooler than the ambient. The flow is intermittent with ‘slugs’ of cold water lasting, on average, for 8 hrs with mean downslope speeds of 5.2 cms?1. The temperature and thickness of the slugs is however variable, with pulses of colder water lasting for 1–3 hrs, each preceded by a ‘front’ in which thickness increases and temperature falls by about 0.01?°C per min. The net volume flux carried by the ‘slugs’ is 18.5 times the mean winter flow into the lake from rivers.

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Published date: 2001
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science


Local EPrints ID: 1254
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 2221caf5-1905-4d6d-8e6f-c250040074e5

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:17

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Author: S.A. Thorpe

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