Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Integrated monitoring of ice in selected Swiss lakes

Duration and extent of lake ice are key indicators of climate change. Their dynamics have to be understood and monitored

The project aims at investigating integrated monitoring of lake ice in Switzerland. Thereby, various approaches are implemented, developed, compared and integrated. Firstly, low spatial resolution (250 - 1000 m) but high temporal resolution (1 day) satellite images from various sensors are used. Secondly, the use of existing online webcams is investigated. Thirdly, in-situ measurements are carried out to characterize the development of the temperature profiles before freezing and under the ice-cover until thawing. Besides the validation of the results from other remote data, in-situ measurments are used to calibrate a one-dimensional turbulence model with  final goal to quantify the criteria for freezing of different Swiss lakes and ultimately derived them as a function of the meteorological conditions.

Six target lakes of different size and altitude have been selected for this study. The integrated monitoring system will allow to study the extent of ice, the duration of lake ice and in particular the ice on/off dates.

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