Fine scale structure of convective mixed layer in ice-covered lake

  • Sergey VolkovEmail author
  • Sergey Bogdanov
  • Roman Zdorovennov
  • Galina Zdorovennova
  • Arkady Terzhevik
  • Nicolay Palshin
  • Damien Bouffard
  • Georgiy Kirillin
Original Article


Nonstationary convection forced by distributed buoyancy sources is a fundamental environmental fluid mechanics process, particularly in ice-covered freshwater waterbodies. In this paper, we present novel field-based results that characterise the diurnal evolution of the main energetics of radiatively-driven convection in ice-covered lakes that is the radiatively-induced buoyancy flux, B, and the kinetic energy dissipation rate, \(\varepsilon\). To estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of \(\varepsilon\), we applied scale similarity of the velocity structure functions to identify the fine turbulence scales from high-frequency velocity measurements. The field study was carried out at Lake Vendyurskoe, Russia, in April 2016. Small-scale velocity fluctuations were measured using acoustic Doppler current profiler in a 2 m layer beneath the ice cover. The method was proven to be valid for low-energy convection without mean shear. The inertial subrange, covering order of magnitude in the spatial domain, was identified by fitting the \(^2/_3\) scaling power law to the structure function method, thus confirming the regime of fully developed turbulence. The calculated rate of dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy \(\varepsilon\) reaches values up to \(3 \times 10^{-9} \hbox { m}^{2}\hbox {s}^{-3}\). Although a strong correlation between \(\varepsilon\) and B was observed, \(\varepsilon\) picks up about 1 h later after the onset of the heating-phase. This delay roughly corresponds to the turnover time of the energy containing eddies. We finally observed a decay of \(\varepsilon\) at night, during the relaxation-phase, but, interestingly, the level remained above the statistical error.


Convection Velocity structure function Inertial subrange Dissipation rate Acoustic Doppler profiling 



The present study is a part of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research RFBR, projects 16-05-00436_a and 18-05-60291. GK was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG Project “IceBound” KI-853/11-1). DB was supported by the FEEL Foundation, Fondation pour l’Etude des Eaux du Léman.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern Water Problems InstituteKarelian Research Center, Russian Academy of Sciences (NWPI KarRC RAS)PetrozavodskRussian Federation
  2. 2.Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyKastanienbaumSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of EcohydrologyLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)BerlinGermany

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