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3 May 2010 Thermodynamics of partially frozen cooling lakes
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Abstract
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) collected visible, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR imagery of the Midland (Michigan) Cogeneration Ventures Plant from aircraft during the winter of 2008 - 2009. RIT also made ground-based measurements of lake water and ice temperatures, ice thickness and atmospheric variables. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) used the data collected by RIT and a 3-D hydrodynamic code to simulate the Midland cooling lake. The hydrodynamic code was able to reproduce the time distribution of ice coverage on the lake during the entire winter. The simulations and data show that the amount of ice coverage is almost linearly proportional to the rate at which heat is injected into the lake (Q). Very rapid melting of ice occurs when strong winds accelerate the movement of warm water underneath the ice. A snow layer on top of the ice acts as an insulator and decreases the rate of heat loss from the water below the ice to the atmosphere above. The simulated ice cover on the lake was not highly sensitive to the thickness of the snow layer. The simplicity of the relationship between ice cover and Q and the weak responses of ice cover to snow depth over the ice are probably attributable to the negative feedback loop that exists between ice cover and heat loss to the atmosphere.
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Alfred J. Garrett, May Casterline, and Carl Salvaggio "Thermodynamics of partially frozen cooling lakes", Proc. SPIE 7661, Thermosense XXXII, 766105 (3 May 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.849349
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