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A New Lake Classification System based on Thermal Profiles to Better Understand the Most Dominant Lake Type on Earth
  • +17
  • Bernard Yang,
  • Mathew Wells,
  • Bailey McMeans,
  • Hilary A. Dugan,
  • James A. Rusak,
  • Gesa A Weyhenmeyer,
  • Jennifer A. Brentrup,
  • Allison R. Hrycik,
  • Alo Laas,
  • Rachel M Pilla,
  • Jay A. Austin,
  • Paul Blanchfield,
  • Cayelan Carey,
  • Matthew M Guzzo,
  • Noah R Lottig,
  • Murray Mackay,
  • Trevor A. Middel,
  • Don Pierson,
  • Junbo Wang,
  • Joelle Young
Bernard Yang
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Corresponding Author:bernie.yang@utoronto.ca

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Mathew Wells
Univeristy of Toronto
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Bailey McMeans
University of Toronto - Mississauga
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Hilary A. Dugan
University of Wisconsin–Madison
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James A. Rusak
Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
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Gesa A Weyhenmeyer
Ecology and Genetics/Limnology
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Jennifer A. Brentrup
Department of Biology and Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, USA
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Allison R. Hrycik
Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, University of Vermont, Vermont, USA
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Alo Laas
Estonian University of Life Sciences
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Rachel M Pilla
Miami University
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Jay A. Austin
University of Minnesota
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Paul Blanchfield
Department of Biology, Queen's Univeristy
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Cayelan Carey
Virginia Tech
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Matthew M Guzzo
University of Guelph
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Noah R Lottig
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Murray Mackay
Environment Canada
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Trevor A. Middel
Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Aquatic Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
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Don Pierson
Uppsala University
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Junbo Wang
Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Joelle Young
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch
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Lakes are traditionally classified based on their thermal regime and trophic status. While this classification adequately captures many lakes, it is not sufficient to understand seasonally ice-covered lakes, the most common lake type on Earth. Here, we propose an additional classification to differentiate under-ice stratification. When ice forms in smaller and deeper lakes, inverse stratification will form with a thin buoyant layer of cold water (near 0oC) below the ice, which remains above a deeper 4oC layer. In contrast, the entire water column can cool to ~0oC in larger and shallower lakes. We suggest these alternative conditions for dimictic lakes be termed “cryostratified” and “cryomictic.” We describe the inverse thermal stratification in 19 highly varying lakes and derive a model that predicts the temperature profile as a function of wind stress, area, and depth. The model opens up for a more precise prediction of lake responses to a warming climate.