Thermal stratification responses of a monomictic reservoir under different seasons and operation schemes

Sci Total Environ. 2021 May 1;767:144423. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144423. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


This study investigates the thermal stratification responses of a monomictic reservoir operated under different facilities. The analysis of 60-year long data showed that the reservoir's thermal regime varies with season and withdrawal scheme and is affected by upstream reach control through the vertical curtain. Isothermal conditions exist during winter (December-March) while stratification onsets in spring (starting April), intensifies in summer (August) and weakens during fall (October-November). Considering summer stratification, deep hypolimnetic withdrawals through the penstock intake promoted thicker epilimnion, with low values of thermal stability (Schmidt Stability Index, SSI) and thermocline strength index (TSI). Meanwhile, shallow withdrawals using selective outflow system resulted in narrower epilimnion, with larger TSI for no curtain scenario and larger SSI for with curtain scenario. Strongest thermoclines do not necessarily translate to largest magnitudes of thermal stability. Longer duration of stratification is associated with shallow withdrawals. Depending on the outflow depth and the occurrence of prolonged hot or cold atmospheric conditions, the onset of stratification could be likely shifted early or late. The 3D numerical simulation determined the individual effects of each operation, which strongly supported the results of the long term analysis. Since thermal stratification directly influences the reservoir's water quality regime, this study can be a helpful reference in optimizing the water quality management of the reservoir.

Keywords: 3D simulation; Reservoir facilities; Schmidt stability; Stratification onset; Thermal stratification; Thermocline strength.