Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)

Publication Date



Journal of Marine Science and Engineering





First Page



Aimed at the explanation of clear tidal signal and storm surge signals in a closed inland lake near the coast (the Huguangyan Lake), this work uses a combined approach with observations and model experiments. Huguangyan Lake is a closed inland freshwater coneless volcanic crater lake near the coast in tropical southern China, less than 5 km from an estuary. It has a diameter of about 1.5 km and relatively deep water of up to 20 m. Bottom pressure was measured from an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) for 10 days in September 2018 and 10 days in January 2019. The observations encompass the period of Typhoon Mangkhut, which passed the region when it made its landfall. The time series demonstrate clear tidal and subtidal signals. The tidal signal remains even if we exclude the barometric pressure effect. Interestingly, the lake has no surface connection with the ocean. The astronomical tide has an amplitude of about 2 cm. The major tidal signals include the principal solar semidiurnal (S2) and lunisolar (K1) constituents. During the passage of Typhoon Mangkhut, the water level variability inside the lake increased by an order of magnitude (>0.3 m). To examine whether the lake water level change was due to the natural oscillations inside the lake (or seiche), a numerical wind-driven hydrodynamics model was designed using the 3-D Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). The results show that a small first-order seiche can be generated, but only with a time scale of minutes and with a magnitude much smaller than the observed surface elevation changes. This excludes any measurable seiche and the observed surface elevation change inside the lake cannot be wind-driven. Moreover, tides inside the lake are not generated by tidal potential, as the lake is too small for having a locally generated tide. The main result of our study has therefore excluded the local tidal-generating force, wind-driven seiche, and barometric effect, as possible causes of the lake oscillation which has tidal and subtidal signals. The subtidal variation is at least one order of magnitude greater than tides inside the lake and is caused by weather-induced overall coastal ocean water level oscillations transmitted into the lake through groundwater connection. All these lead to the major conclusion that the lake is connected to the coastal ocean through groundwater.


doi: 10.3390/jmse9050485


freshwater maar lake; tide and storm surge; effect of typhoon; Typhoon Mangkhut; observations; FVCOM simulation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.