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Licancabur: exploring the highest lake on Earth. Oral exam, Hock Topic 1, v.1.0 9 Sept. 2003. GOAL: provide a quantitative physical explanation for a temperature anomaly observed at Licancabur Volcano crater lake. The site: Volcan Licancabur Motivation

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licancabur exploring the highest lake on earth
Licancabur: exploring the highest lake on Earth.

Oral exam, Hock

Topic 1, v.1.0

9 Sept. 2003

slide2
GOAL: provide a quantitative physical explanation for a temperature anomaly observed at Licancabur Volcano crater lake.
  • The site: Volcan Licancabur
      • Motivation
      • Observations—water temperature anomaly
        • H2O physics
  • Hypotheses & tests
  • Modeling lake mass, energy balance
  • Proposed future work
slide3

Volcan Licancabur

  • 2250’S, 6753’W
  • Crater lake:
    • 5916 m
    • ~90 x 70 x 4 m
    • Twater~ 0-6 C
    • pH ~ 8.5
    • TDS ~ 1.05 ppt

Map: de Silva and Francis 1991.

motivation
Motivation
  • Terrestrial
    • Unexplored (e.g. Rudolph 1955; Leach 1986)
    • One of the highest (~5916 m) lakes on Earth
    • Volcanology/Limnology
      • Unclassified wrt world’s volcano lakes
  • Martian
    • Terrestrial analog to ancient paleolakes?
      • intense UV flux (~85 W/m2) and a cold (-13 °C), dry (< 200 mm/yr), oxygen-depraved (~48% pO2(0)) atmosphere
    • Harsh physical environment—Survival strategies of endemic organisms
observations
Observations
    • No eruptions in recorded history.
    • Evidence of recent activity
      • youthful lava flows, well-preserved summit crater, absence of glacial geomorphic features (de Silva and Francis 1991).
    • The region surrounding the volcano is geothermally active
      • springs ranging from ~17-37 C and elevated heat flow (Hock et al. 2002).
  • Despite sub-freezing air temperature and a 80 cm ice cover, summit lake has ~6 C bottom water (Leach 1986)
    • Summer surface water ~4.9 C , salinity ~1.05 ppt (Hock et al. 2002)
h 2 o physics

Licancabur: Tmax~3.74

Licancabur: Tobs~6.00

Sea level freshwater: Tmax~4.00

…H2O physics

…bottom water temperature should equal the temperature of maximum density for water under these conditions.

  • (S,T,p)
  • freshwater has max~1.00 g/cc at ~4 °C
      • T max(S,p)
  • Licancabur (~4 m depth) waters have predicted T max~3.74 °C
slide8
GOAL: provide a quantitative physical explanation for a temperature anomaly observed at Licancabur Volcano crater lake.
  • The site: Volcan Licancabur
  • Hypotheses & tests

1. Measurement error

2. Heliothermic

3. Volcanic

      • Analysis
  • Modeling lake mass, energy balance
  • Proposed future work
slide9
HypothesesMeasured bottom water temperature at Licancabur is ~2 °C warmer than predicted Tρmaxfor lake water
  • Measurement error – there is no temperature anomaly.
  • Heliothermic – saline bottom waters are heated by solar insolation and sediment radiative cooling.
  • Volcanic – the lake hosts a diffuse hydrothermal system that supplies energy and fluid to the system.
slide10
1. Measurement error?
  • Leach 1986:
    • Difficult conditions
      • Diver, early spring
      • Overlying 80 cm ice cover
    • Instrument accuracy (d, T) unknown

2. Heliothermic?

  • Saline bottom waters heated by sun
    • Thermal-density instability is prevented by an increased solute concentration (Wetzel 2001).
    • Only a very small increase in salinity is required to explain the observed temperature anomaly

Example: Hot Lake, Washington. Even under ice

cover, the bottom temperature of this ~4 m deep lake

in a salt mine reaches 30 °C! (after Kirkland et al. 1983)

ρS=1.05=1.00086

ρS=2.0=1.002

ρS=1.05=1.00082

slide11

3. Volcanic

  • As a surface expression of terrestrial degassing and the interaction between the Earth’s mantle and hydrosphere, volcanic lakes host unique physical, chemical, and biological environments.
  • “Neutral-dilute” problem:
    • Volcanic lakes within dormant craters, --may be virtually indistinguishable from a typical freshwater reservoir (e.g. Crater Lake, OR)
    • No fumaroles
    • Diffuse, not discrete (seafloor-type) venting.
    • Low T, neutral pH, low dissolved solids content
  • Address with physical modeling

Simplified model of a crater lake atop a passively degassing volcano. From the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior Committee on Volcanic Lakes website: http://www.ulb.ac.be/sciences/cvl/

analysis
Analysis

T(zmax): ~4 °C

T(zmax): ~6 °C

n/a

n/a

Seasonally-dependent heat flow

Heat flow sufficient to drive water column convection

S(z): salinity-based stratification

S(z): well mixed. Low bottom water salinity

n/a

Isothermal profile

Seasonally-independent mixing

Acidic bottom water

Tw(z): increase w/o mixing

Volcanic inputs as unknowns…

Net outflow

No determinable net flow, net inflow

Elevated heat flow

Low heat flow w/o observed thermal fluid input

slide13
GOAL: provide a quantitative physical explanation for a temperature anomaly observed at Licancabur Volcano crater lake.
  • The site: Volcan Licancabur
  • Hypotheses & tests
  • Modeling lake mass, energy balance
      • Terms, equations
      • Results
  • Proposed future work
slide14
Mass balance

Wmet = Wevap + Wout

Energy balance

Esw + Elw = Erad + Eevap + Econd + Emet + Eout

Solar/atmospheric

radiation

Radiative

cooling

Evaporation

Evaporation, conduction

Precipitation

Groundwater,

snow

Seepage, outflow

Volcanic input?

“Drainage” loss

Observations of stability on ~10 year timescale: assume hydrologic and energetic steady state.

Lake waters

slide15

Term

Dependence

Assumptions

Wmet

I, Ac

I~200 mm y-1; Pasternack and Varekamp 1997; Nunez et al. 2002

Wevap

Eevap

Pasternack and Varekamp 1997

Wout

Wout=0

Esw

φ

Linacre 1992

Elw

Tair, C

C(φ,z); Linacre 1992

Erad

Tw

Tw~5 ºC; Davies et al. 1971, Henderson-Sellers 1986

Eevap

(Tw-Tair), W, (es-e2)

Tw~5 ºC; W~6 m s-1; Ryan and Harleman 1973

Econd

Eevap

Brown et al. 1991

Emet

Ac, I, (Tw-Tprecip)

Tprecip=0 C; Pasternack and Varekamp 1997

Eout

Wout, H

Wout=0

Terms in the balance…

2002 results hock et al 2002 hock et al 2003
2002 Results[Hock et al. 2002, Hock et al. 2003]
  • Model:
    • May support volcanic hypothesis—input on the order of ~106 W and a few m3 H2O/day. Field data needed.
  • Water chemistry
    • first measurements!
    • pH~8.5, TDS~1.05 ppt
    • Rock forming elements (Fe, Al, Mg, others) enriched wrt local geothermal, meteoric waters
    • Also enriched in SO4, Cl, F—principal anions found in magmatic hydrothermal fluids
slide17
GOAL: provide a quantitative physical explanation for a temperature anomaly observed at Licancabur Volcano crater lake.
  • The site: Volcan Licancabur
  • Hypotheses & tests
  • Modeling lake mass, energy balance
  • Proposed future work
      • Constrain model using field data
      • 2003 field campaign, beyond
constrain model using field data

Mass outflux by seepage and outflow = 0

  • Air temperature and cloud cover average functions of latitude and elevation (Linacre 1992)
    • Readout temperature loggers
  • All meteoric input at 0 C
    • Install meteorology station; measure precipitation and account for latent heat of melting in model
  • The lake remains unfrozen
    • Readout surface water temperature logger
  • Vapor pressure approximation assumes year-round temperatures <0 C
    • Readout temperature loggers
  • Average crater wind speed was estimated ~6.7 m/s
    • Log wind speed in crater
Constrain model using field data
2003 campaign
2003 campaign
  • Collect all of the deployed data loggers
    • Investigate mixing with time-dependent T(d) profiles
  • CTD probe
    • Investigate heliothermic hypothesis with
  • Deploy a simple meteorological station

1) quantify analogy between the Licancabur summit environment and paleoenvironments on Mars

2) validate data for wind speed (a critical term in evaporative flux estimates) and precipitation (critical to meteoric input estimates)

  • Model the equilibrium chemistry of a pH 8.5 freshwater body in contact with andesitic sediments
  • Analog to Mars
    • quantify the environmental parameters that underlie the analogy to ancient Mars and, in particular, martian paleolakes—compare with climate models?
  • Scout additional sites; adaptations of biology; human physiology; education and public outreach…
summary
Summary

As one of the highest lakes on Earth and an end-member of the physical environments on Earth where lakes and liquid water are stable, the Licancabur crater lake is of considerable interest to terrestrial limnology, biology, and volcanology. My proposal represents the first thorough characterization of this environment and a quantitative physical explanation for the anomalous warmth of its waters.

energy balance terms

Term

Term

Expression

Expression

Reference

Reference

Incident shortwave radiation (solar) [W/m2]: Esw

Precipitation mass flux [m3/day]: Wmeteoric

185+5.9φ-0.22φ2+0.00167φ3

IAc

Linacre 1992

Pasternack and Varekamp 1997; Nunez et al. 2002

Evaporative mass flux [m3/day]: Wevap

Eevap/ab

Pasternack and Varekamp 1997

Incident longwave radiation from atmosphere [W/m2]: Elw

(208+6Tair)(1+0.0034C2)

Linacre 1992

Longwave radiative (blackbody) loss [W/m2]: Erad

εwσTw4

Davies et al. 1971; Henderson-Sellers 1986

Evaporation energy flux [W/m2]: Eevap

[2.7(Tlv-Tav)1/3+3.2W2](es-e2)

Ryan and Harleman 1973

Conductive heat loss [W/m2]: Econd

0.61[(Tlake-Tair)/(es-e2)]Eevap

Brown et al. 1991

Precipitation energy flux [W/m2]: Emeteoric

aI(Tlake-Tprecip)cp

Pasternack and Varekamp 1997

Energy balance terms

Mass balance terms

slide22

If we assume that the source water for these features have similar composition, then enrichment in rock forming elements may be representative volcanic hydrothermal fluid input as fluid flowing up to the summit is allowed more time to react with local lithologies.

  • Since solute enrichment is not uniform across the analytes in the summit lake waters, it is unlikely that this chemistry is a result of evaporative concentration alone.
slide23

Volcanic lake systematics

  • Physical and chemical differences between lakes reflect the complex interaction between volcanic (e.g. the timescale and intensity of volcanic heat and fluid input) and nonvolcanic (e.g. atmospheric conditions, precipitation) phenomena
  • Given a crater that can hold water, a volcanic lake in steady state requires an energetic and hydrologic balance between volcanic heat and mass input and output to the environment.

Schematic “box model” of energy and mass balance in a volcanic crater lake; the terms represent those used for this model. The two volcanic input arrows at the bottom of the lake represent unknowns, and are solved for in the model. Wout and Wseep are set to zero as a conservative estimate.

Physicochemical classification scheme for volcanic lakes (from Pasternack and Varekamp 1997). Dashed lines indicate physically-imposed thresholds; representative temperature (T) and total dissolved solids (TDS) values are given.

slide24

Thermopile temperature gradient probe deployment (buried probe top indicated by red arrow). Surface and underwater soil heat flux measurements were made using this lightweight, high-sensitivity probe at lower elevation lagunas and hot springs. Preliminary calculations show conductive heat flux values ranging from near global average (~0.06 W/m2) to nearly two orders of magnitude greater near the hot spring.

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