A three-dimensional model of Lake Superior with ice and biogeochemistry

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28 Scopus citations


The formation of winter ice on Lake Superior has been shown to be important in determining the annual thermal cycle of the lake and long-term trends of surface water temperature increase. However, modeling studies of Lake Superior to date have not included dynamic and thermodynamic ice cover. These physical characteristics of the lake in turn can have significant impacts on biogeochemical cycling within the lake. We present a new three-dimensional model of Lake Superior that includes a dynamic and thermodynamic ice model and a biogeochemical model. Results from the model forced by observed meteorological conditions for the period 1985 to 2008 are discussed and compared with available observations. Modeled long-term interannual trends in increasing water temperature and decreasing ice cover are compared with observed rates. In the model, total annual gross primary productivity is found to correlate positively with mean annual temperature and negatively with mean winter ice-cover magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation ( NSF-OCE-0825633 to JA and NSF-OCE-0825576 to KM) and by the University of Minnesota McKnight Land Grant Professorship to KM. Support for BW was provided by the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and graduate fellowships from the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences .


  • Biogeochemistry
  • Ice
  • Lake Superior
  • Numerical modeling


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