Simulation of the specific surface area of snow using a one-dimensional physical snowpack model: Implementation and evaluation for subarctic snow in Alaska

15Citations
Citations of this article
42Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

Abstract

The specific surface area (SSA) of the snow constitutes a powerful<br />parameter to quantify the exchange of matter and energy between the<br />snow and the atmosphere. However, currently no snow physics model<br />can simulate the SSA. Therefore, two different types of empirical<br />parameterizations of the specific surface area (SSA) of snow are<br />implemented into the existing one-dimensional snow physics model<br />CROCUS. The parameterizations are either based on diagnostic equations<br />relating the SSA to parameters like snow type and density or on prognostic<br />equations that describe the change of SSA depending on snow age,<br />snowpack temperature, and the temperature gradient within the snowpack.<br />Simulations with the upgraded CROCUS model were performed for a subarctic<br />snowpack, for which an extensive data set including SSA measurements<br />is available at Fairbanks, Alaska for the winter season 2003/2004.<br />While a reasonable agreement between simulated and observed SSA values<br />is obtained using both parameterizations, the model tends to overestimate<br />the SSA. This overestimation is more pronounced using the diagnostic<br />equations compared to the results of the prognostic equations. Parts<br />of the SSA deviations using both parameterizations can be attributed<br />to differences between simulated and observed snow heights, densities,<br />and temperatures. Therefore, further sensitivity studies regarding<br />the thermal budget of the snowpack were performed. They revealed<br />that reducing the thermal conductivity of the snow or increasing<br />the turbulent fluxes at the snow surfaces leads to a slight improvement<br />of the simulated thermal budget of the snowpack compared to the observations.<br />However, their impact on further simulated parameters like snow height<br />and SSA remains small. Including additional physical processes in<br />the snow model may have the potential to advance the simulations<br />of the thermal budget of the snowpack and, thus, the SSA simulations.<br />

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Jacobi, H. W., Domine, F., Simpson, W. R., Douglas, T. A., & Sturm, M. (2010). Simulation of the specific surface area of snow using a one-dimensional physical snowpack model: Implementation and evaluation for subarctic snow in Alaska. Cryosphere, 4(1), 35–51. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-4-35-2010

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free