Impact model: VIC-LAKE

VIC-LAKE is derived from the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) Macroscale Hydrologic Model. The model was optimized for lake simulations at Wageningen University, while physical processes were not changed.

Lakes (global)
Contact Person

Information for the model VIC-LAKE is provided for the simulation rounds shown in the tabs below. Click on the appropriate tab to get the information for the simulation round you are interested in.

Basic information
Model Version: 1.0
Model output license: CC BY 4.0
Reference Paper: Main Reference: Bowling L, Lettenmaier D et al. Modeling the Effects of Lakes and Wetlands on the Water Balance of Arctic Environments. Journal of Hydrometeorology,11,276-295,2009
Person Responsible For Model Simulations In This Simulation Round: Bram Droppers
Output Data
Experiments: II, III, VIII
Climate Drivers: IPSL-CM5A-LR, HadGEM2-ES, GFDL-ESM2M, MIROC5
Date: 2019-09-09
Spatial Aggregation: regular grid
Spatial Resolution: 0.5°x0.5°
Additional Spatial Aggregation & Resolution Information: As per ISIMIP2b protocol: Since a 0.5° by 0.5° cell potentially contains multiple lakes with different characteristics (e.g. in terms of bathymetry, transparency, fetch), it is not possible to fully represent this subgrid-scale heterogeneity. Instead, the global-scale lake simulations should represent a ‘representative lake’ for a given cell.
Temporal Resolution Of Input Data: Soil: constant
Additional Temporal Resolution Information: Model time-step was 6 hourly. Climate variables were down-scaled using the metGeneratoR R-package (; Tag: v1.1.1) developed at Wageningen University.
Input data sets used
Simulated Atmospheric Climate Data Sets Used: GFDL-ESM2M (rcp45), IPSL-CM5A-LR, HadGEM2-ES, GFDL-ESM2M, MIROC5
Observed Atmospheric Climate Data Sets Used: EWEMBI
Climate Variables: hurs, sfcWind, tasmax, tasmin, rlds, rsds, ps, pr
Additional Input Data Sets: As per ISIMIP2b protocol: For lake depth the data from the Global Lake Data Base (GLDB; Kourzeneva, 2009) was used. A regridded lake depth field based on GLDBv1 is available at 0.5° by 0.5° resolution on the DKRZ input data repository. For lake coverage the the Global Lake and Wetland Database (GLWD; Lehner and Döll, 2004) was used. A grid-scale lake fraction based on GLWD is available on the DKRZ input data repository. References: Kourzeneva E . Bouttier F. , Fischer C . Global dataset for the parameterization of lakes in numerical weather prediction and climate modelling. ALADIN Newsletter. 2009; Toulouse, France: Meteo-France. 46–53. July–December. Lehner, Bernhard & Doell, Petra. (2004). Development and Validation of a Global Database of Lakes, Reservoirs and Wetlands. Journal of Hydrology. 296. 1-22. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.03.028.
Was A Spin-Up Performed?: Yes
Spin-Up Design: 10 years of spin-up (from 1851 to 1861 from the piControl scenario) were used to start the pre-historical and historical simulations. Future simulations were started from the historical simulations (thus no spin-up was needed). Historical simulations should also start from the pre-industrial simulations, and this will be fixed in future updates.
Potential Evapotranspiration: Calculated as in Hostetler and Bartlein (1990) and Hostetler (1991) References: Hostetler, S. W. and P. J. Bartlein, 1990: Simulation of lake evaporation with application to modeling lake level variations of Harney-Malheur Lake, Oregon. Water Resour. Res., 26, 2603–2612. Hostetler, S. W., 1991: Simulation of lake ice and its effect on the late-Pleistocene evaporation rate of Lake Lahontan. Climate Dyn., 6, 43–48.
Additional questions 1
How did you initialise you lake temperature profile?: Lake temperature profile was initialized by the mean soil temperature, followed by a 10 year spin-up
How did you set lake depth?: Lake depth was based on a regridded Global Lake Data Base (GLDB; Kourzeneva, 2009). References: Kourzeneva E . Bouttier F. , Fischer C . Global dataset for the parameterization of lakes in numerical weather prediction and climate modelling. ALADIN Newsletter. 2009; Toulouse, France: Meteo-France. 46–53. July–December
How did you set water transparency?: Transparency follows a two-band (visible and near-infrared) Beer's law. Radiation attenuation is constant for ice, water and snow. (Bowling and Lettemaier, 2010) References: Bowling, L.C. and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2010: Modeling the effects of lakes and wetlands on the water balance of Arctic Environments, J. Hydromet., 11, 276-295, doi:10.1175/2009JHM1084.1.