Lake Physics

The physics of arctic lakes are controlled by the prevalence of ice and the extremes of solar radiation. Some high-latitude arctic lakes are permanently covered with ice up to 4 m thick, and nearly all are ice-covered for at least 8-11 months of the year. Even during the ice-free summer months average temperatures in surface waters rarely exceed 18 °C and are more commonly less than 10 °C. The bottom waters in some deep lakes stay cold year-round and may never reach 4 °C, yet there exist lakes whose bottom waters are saline and whose temperatures are abnormally high owing to the trapping of solar heat penetrating through permanent ice covers.

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