A regional model of the atmosphere (version 4 of the NCAR mesoscale model, MM4) was used to assess whether lake-effect precipitation was a significant component of the late-Pleistocene hydrologic budgets of Lakes Lahontan and Bonneville. Control simulations for January and July of 1979 were made using MM4, and the Pleistocene highstand surface areas of the lakes were added to the model and the simulations repeated. In the January simulations, 18% of the moisture added to the modeled atmosphere by Lake Lahontan returned to the Lahontan basin as precipitation, while 32% of the water evaporated from Lake Bonneville fell as precipitation over the Bonneville basin. In the July simulations, 7% of the moisture added to the modeled atmosphere by Lake Lahontan returned to the Lahontan basin as precipitation, and 4% of the water evaporated from Lake Bonneville fell as precipitation over the Bonneville basin. An additonal January simulation was made with the lake surface areas set at onehalf their highstand extents (the average surface area 20 to 15 ka BP). Results from this simulation were similar to the simulation with the highstand lakes, indicating lake-effect precipitation could have been a significant component of the hyrologic budgets of the lakes before and during the highstand period. ?? 1992 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Use of a regional atmospheric model to simulate lake-atmosphere feedbacks associated with Pleistocene Lakes Lahontan and Bonneville