Development of a coupled simulation framework representing the lake and river continuum of mass and energy (TCHOIR v1.0)

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Terrestrial surface water temperature is a key variable affecting water quality and energy balance, and thermodynamics and fluid dynamics are tightly coupled in fluvial and lacustrine systems. Streamflow generally plays a role in the horizontal redistribution of heat, and thermal exchange in lakes predominantly occurs in a vertical direction. However, numerical models simulate the water temperature for uncoupled rivers and lakes, and the linkages between them on a global scale remain unclear. In this study, we proposed an integrated modeling framework: Tightly Coupled framework for Hydrology of Open water Interactions in River-lake network (TCHOIR, read as "tee quire"). The objective is to simulate terrestrial fluvial and thermodynamics as a continuum of mass and energy in solid and liquid phases redistributed among rivers and lakes. TCHOIR uses high-resolution geographical information harmonized over fluvial and lacustrine networks. The results have been validated through comparison with in situ observations and satellite-based data products, and the model sensitivity has been tested with multiple meteorological forcing datasets. It was observed that the "coupled" mode outperformed the "river-only" mode in terms of discharge and temperature downstream of lakes; moreover, it was observed that seasonal and interannual variation in lake water levels and temperature are also more reliable in the "coupled" mode. The inclusion of lakes in the coupled model resulted in an increase in river temperatures during winter at midlatitudes and a decrease in temperatures during summer at high latitudes, which reflects the role of lakes as a form of large heat storage. The river-lake coupling framework presented herein provides a basis for further elucidating the role of terrestrial surface water in Earth's energy cycle.
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GEOSCIENTIFIC MODEL DEVELOPMENT, v.14, no.9, pp.5669 - 5693

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