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Scientific-Investigations Report 2010–5201

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation

Empirical Models of Wind Conditions on Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

By Norman L. Buccola and Tamara M. Wood

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Upper Klamath Lake is a large (230 square kilometers), shallow (mean depth 2.8 meters at full pool) lake in southern Oregon. Lake circulation patterns are driven largely by wind, and the resulting currents affect the water quality and ecology of the lake. To support hydrodynamic modeling of the lake and statistical investigations of the relation between wind and lake water-quality measurements, the U.S. Geological Survey has monitored wind conditions along the lakeshore and at floating raft sites in the middle of the lake since 2005. In order to make the existing wind archive more useful, this report summarizes the development of empirical wind models that serve two purposes: (1) to fill short (on the order of hours or days) wind data gaps at raft sites in the middle of the lake, and (2) to reconstruct, on a daily basis, over periods of months to years, historical wind conditions at U.S. Geological Survey sites prior to 2005. Empirical wind models based on Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Multivariate-Adaptive Regressive Splines (MARS) algorithms were compared. ANNs were better suited to simulating the 10-minute wind data that are the dependent variables of the gap-filling models, but the simpler MARS algorithm may be adequate to accurately simulate the daily wind data that are the dependent variables of the historical wind models. To further test the accuracy of the gap-filling models, the resulting simulated winds were used to force the hydrodynamic model of the lake, and the resulting simulated currents were compared to measurements from an acoustic Doppler current profiler. The error statistics indicated that the simulation of currents was degraded as compared to when the model was forced with observed winds, but probably is adequate for short gaps in the data of a few days or less. Transport seems to be less affected by the use of the simulated winds in place of observed winds. The simulated tracer concentration was similar between model results when simulated winds were used to force the model, and when observed winds were used to force the model, and differences between the two results did not accumulate over time.

First posted October 27, 2010

For additional information contact:
Director, Oregon Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2130 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

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Suggested citation:

Buccola, N.L., and Wood, T.M., 2010, Empirical models of wind conditions on Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific-Investigations Report 2010–5201, 26 p.

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