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|Toward a generic method for studying water renewal, with application to the epilimnion of Lake Tanganyika|Gourgue, O.; Deleersnijder, E.; White, L. (2007). Toward a generic method for studying water renewal, with application to the epilimnion of Lake Tanganyika. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 74(4): 628-640. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2007.05.009
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Age; Epilimnion; Finite element method; Renewal; Residence time; Africa, Tanganyika L. [gazetteer]; Marine; Brackish water; Fresh water
water renewal; age; residence time; Lake Tanganyika; reduced-gravity model; finite elements
We present a method, based on the concept of age and residence time, to study the water renewal in a semi-enclosed domain. We split the water of this domain into different water types. The initial water is the water initially present in the semi-enclosed domain. The renewing water is defined as the water entering the domain of interest. Several renewing water types may be considered depending on their origin. We present the equations for computing the age and the residence time of a certain water type. These timescales are of use to understand the rate at which the water renewal takes place. Computing these timescales can be achieved at an acceptable extra computer cost. The above-mentioned method is applied to study the renewal of epilimnion (i.e. the surface layer) water in Lake Tanganyika. We have built a finite element reduced-gravity model modified to take into account the water exchange between the epilimnion and the hypolimnion (i.e. the bottom layer), the water supply from precipitation and incoming rivers, and the water loss from evaporation and the only outgoing river. With our water renewal diagnoses, we show that the only significant process in the renewal of epilimnion water in Lake Tanganyika is the water exchange between the epilimnion and the hypolimnion, other phenomena being negligible.