Multi-scale evaluation of a 3D lake model forced by an atmospheric model against standard monitoring data

Marina Amadori*, Lorenzo Giovannini, Marco Toffolon, Sebastiano Piccolroaz, Dino Zardi, Mariano Bresciani, Claudia Giardino, Giulia Luciani, Michael Kliphuis, Hans van Haren, Henk A. Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evaluating a three-dimensional lake model requires large datasets of many variables, including velocity fields, that are seldom available. Here we discuss how to assess the performance of a model at multiple scales (in time and space) with data from standard monitoring systems, i.e., mostly limited to water temperature. The modeling chain consists of a lake hydrodynamic model (Delft3D-Flow) forced by an atmospheric model (WRF, Weather Research and Forecasting). The two models are tested on the case study of Lake Garda (Italy), where a comprehensive dataset of atmospheric and water temperature observations is available. Results show that a consistent picture of the inherent dynamics can be reproduced from a heterogeneous set of water temperature data, by distilling information across diverse spatial and temporal scales. The choice of the performance metrics and their limitations are discussed, with a focus on the procedures adopted to manage and homogenize data, visualize results and identify sources of error.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105017
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Delft3D
  • Numerical simulation
  • Remote sensing
  • Water temperature
  • Wind
  • WRF


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