The lacustrine-water vapor isotope inventory experiment L-WAIVE


  • Chazette Patrick
  • Flamant Cyrille
  • Sodemann Harald
  • Totems Julien
  • Monod Anne
  • Dieudonné Elsa
  • Baron Alexandre
  • Seidl Andrew
  • Steen-Larsen Hans Christian
  • Doira Pascal
  • Durand Amandine
  • Ravier Sylvain


  • Valley
  • Lake
  • Annecy
  • Stable water isotopes
  • Aerosol
  • Lidar
  • Airborne

document type



In order to gain understanding on the vertical structure of atmospheric water vapour above mountain lakes and to assess the respective influence of evaporation and advection processes, the L-WAIVE (Lacustrine-Water vApor Isotope inVentory Experiment) field campaign was conducted in the Annecy valley in the French Alps in June 2019. This campaign was based on a synergy between a suite of ground-based, boat-borne, and airborne measuring platforms implemented to characterise the thermodynamic and isotopic state above the lake environment using both in-situ and remote sensing instruments. Two ultra-light aircrafts (ULA), one equipped with a Rayleigh-Mie lidar, solar fluxmeters and an optical counter, and one equipped with a Cavity Ring-down Spectrometer (CRDS) and an in-cloud liquid water collector, were deployed to characterize the vertical distribution of the main stable water vapour isotopes (H216O, H218O and H2H16O), and their potential interactions with clouds and aerosols. ULA flight patterns were repeated several times per day to capture the diurnal evolution as well as variability associated with different weather events. ULA flights were anchored to continuous water vapour and wind profiling of the lower troposphere performed by two dedicated ground-based lidars. Additional flights have been conducted to map the spatial variability of the water vapour isotope composition regarding the lake and surrounding topography. Throughout the campaign, ship-borne lake temperature profiles as well as liquid water samples at the air-water interface and at 2 m depth were made, supplemented on one occasion by atmospheric water vapour isotope measurements from the ship. The campaign period included a variety of weather events leading to contrasting humidity and cloud conditions, slope wind regimes and aerosol contents in the valley. The water vapor mixing ratio values in the valley atmospheric boundary layer were found to range from 3–4 g kg−1 to more than 10 g kg−1 and to be strongly influenced by the subsidence of higher altitude air masses as well as slope winds. A significant variability of the isotopic composition was observed within the first 3 km above ground level. The influence of the lake evaporation was mainly detected in the first 500 m of the atmosphere. Well-mixed conditions prevailed in the lower free troposphere, mainly above the mean altitude of the mountain tops surrounding the lake.

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