A multi-lake comparative analysis of the General Lake Model (GLM): Stress-testing across a global observatory network

Louise C. Bruce, Marieke A. Frassl, George B. Arhonditsis, Gideon Gal, David P. Hamilton, Paul C. Hanson, Amy L. Hetherington, John M. Melack, Jordan S. Read, Karsten Rinke, Anna Rigosi, Dennis Trolle, Luke Winslow, Rita Adrian, Ana I. Ayala, Serghei A. Bocaniov, Bertram Boehrer, Casper Boon, Justin D. Brookes, Thomas BuecheBrendan D. Busch, Diego Copetti, Alicia Cortés, Elvira de Eyto, J. Alex Elliott, Nicole Gallina, Yael Gilboa, Nicolas Guyennon, Lei Huang, Onur Kerimoglu, John D. Lenters, Sally MacIntyre, Vardit Makler-Pick, Chris G. McBride, Santiago Moreira, Deniz Özkundakci, Marco Pilotti, Francisco J. Rueda, James A. Rusak, Nihar R. Samal, Martin Schmid, Tom Shatwell, Craig Snorthheim, Frédéric Soulignac, Giulia Valerio, Leon van der Linden, Mark Vetter, Brigitte Vinçon-Leite, Junbo Wang, Michael Weber, Chaturangi Wickramaratne, R. Iestyn Woolway, Huaxia Yao, Matthew R. Hipsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


The modelling community has identified challenges for the integration and assessment of lake models due to the diversity of modelling approaches and lakes. In this study, we develop and assess a one-dimensional lake model and apply it to 32 lakes from a global observatory network. The data set included lakes over broad ranges in latitude, climatic zones, size, residence time, mixing regime and trophic level. Model performance was evaluated using several error assessment metrics, and a sensitivity analysis was conducted for nine parameters that governed the surface heat exchange and mixing efficiency. There was low correlation between input data uncertainty and model performance and predictions of temperature were less sensitive to model parameters than prediction of thermocline depth and Schmidt stability. The study provides guidance to where the general model approach and associated assumptions work, and cases where adjustments to model parameterisations and/or structure are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-291
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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