Diurnal Course of Evaporation From the Dead Sea in Summer: A Distinct Double Peak Induced by Solar Radiation and Night Sea Breeze

N. G. Lensky, I. M. Lensky, A. Peretz, I. Gertman, J. Tanny, S. Assouline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Partitioning between the relative effects of the radiative and aerodynamic components of the atmospheric forcing on evaporation is challenging since diurnal distributions of wind speed and solar radiation typically overlap. The Dead Sea is located about a 100 km off the Eastern Mediterranean coast, where and the Mediterranean Sea breeze front reaches it after sunset. Therefore, in the Dead Sea the peaks of solar radiation and wind speed diurnal cycles in the Dead Sea are distinctly separated in time, offering a unique opportunity to distinguish between their relative impacts on evaporation. We present mid-summer eddy covariance and meteorological measurements of evaporation rate and surface energy fluxes over the Dead Sea. The evaporation rate is characterized by a clear diurnal cycle with a daytime peak, few hours after solar radiation peak, and a nighttime peak coincident with wind speed peak. Evaporation rate is minimum during sunrise and sunset. Measurements of evaporation rate from two other water bodies that are closer to the Mediterranean coast, Eshkol Reservoir, and Lake Kinneret, present a single afternoon peak, synchronous with the sea breeze. The inland diurnal evaporation rate cycle varies with the distance from the Mediterranean coast, following the propagation of sea breeze front: near the coast, wind speed, and radiation peaks are close and consequently a single daily evaporation peak appears in the afternoon; at the Dead Sea, about a 100 km inland, the sea breeze front arrives at sunset, resulting in a diurnal evaporation cycle characterized by a distinct double peak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


We thank the three anonymous reviewers and the associated editor for insightful comments that improved this manuscript. The measuring setup required a significant collaboration with the following great teams: The Geological Survey of Israel—Ali Arnon, Hallel Lutzky, Raanan Bodzin, Ido Sirota, Ziv Mor, Itzik Hamdani, Haggai Eyal, and Assaf Mor. IOLR—Tal Ozer and Boris Katsenelson. Taglit R/V— Silvy Gonen, Meir Yifrach, and Shachar Gan-El. Meteo-Tech—Denis Kuchuk and Igor. The research was funded by the Israeli Government under GSI DS project 40572. This study is a contribution to the PALEX project ‘‘Paleohydrology and Extreme Floods from the Dead Sea ICDP core’’, funded by the DFG (grant no. BR2208/13-1/-2). Interested readers can access our data at: https://zenodo.org/record/ 1118297#.Wjj5PVWWY6Q.

FundersFunder number
Israeli Government


    • Dead Sea
    • diurnal
    • eddy covariance
    • energy budget
    • evaporation
    • surface heat flux


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