The overarching theme of this research is to determine how lake variables (e.g. ice cover, thermal structure, water level) have changed during the past century, and how they may continue to change under a changing climate. Currently, I am focusing on one dimensional and three dimensional hydrodynamic modeling of the NTL-LTER study lakes. Development of hydrodynamic models allows for understanding of lake dynamics that cannot be captured by field measurements, and also provides the ability to predict how changes in external variables may affect lake dynamics with different hydrologic types and sizes in northern and southern Wisconsin. Changes in lake physical variables are of great significance from an ecological viewpoint as elevated water temperatures and changes in thermal stratification can influence plankton and fish communities.
Figure 1: Simulated water temperatures for Lake Mendota (top) the year 1980 under the current climate and (bottom) the same year assuming an air temperature increase of 3 C.