Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Biological and Irrigation Engineering
Robert W. Hill
Reliable evaporation data are an essential requirement in any water and/or energy budget studies. This includes operation and management of both urban and agricultural water resources. Evaporation from large, open water surfaces such as lakes and reservoirs may influence many agricultural and irrigation decisions. In this study evaporation from Bear Lake in the states of Idaho and Utah was measured using advanced research instruments (Bowen Ratio and Eddy Correlation). Actual over-lake evaporation and weather data measurements were used to understand the mechanism of evaporation in the lake, determine lake-related parameters (such as roughness lengths, heat storage, net radiation, etc.), and examine and evaluate existing lake evaporation methods. This enabled the development of a modified and flexible model incorporating the tested methods for hourly and daily best estimates of lake evaporation using nearby simple land-based weather data and, if available, remotely sensed data.
Average evaporation from Bear Lake was about 2 mm/day during the summer season (March-October) of this two-year (1993-1994) study. This value reflects the large amount of energy consumed in heating the water body of the lake. Moreover, evaporation from the lake was not directly related to solar radiation. This observation was clear during nighttime when the evaporation continued with almost the same rate as daytime evaporation. This explains the vital role of heat storage in the lake as the main driving energy for evaporation during nighttime and daytime cloudy sky conditions.
When comparing over-lake and nearby land-based weather parameters, land-based wind speed was the only weather parameter that had a significant difference of about 50% lower than over-lake measurements. other weather parameters were quite similar.
The study showed that evaporation from the lake can be accurately estimated using Penman-type equations if related parameters such as net radiation, heat storage, and aerodynamic effect are evaluated properly to reflect conditions over the lake. Using other methods may lead to unacceptable errors.
Amayreh, Jumah, "Lake Evaporation: A Model Study" (1995). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4404.