Snow ablation modelling in a mature aspen stand of the boreal forest

  • Hardy J
  • Davis R
  • Jordan R
 et al. 
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Snow ablation modelling at the stand scale must account for the variability in snow cover and the large variations of components of energy transfer at the forest floor. Our previous work successfully predicted snow ablation in a mature jack pine stand by using a one-dimensional snow process model and models predicting radiation below forest canopies. This work represents a second test of our basic modelling scenario by predicting snow ablation in a leafless, deciduous aspen stand and verifying the results with field data. New modifications to the snow model accounted for decreased albedo owing to radiation penetration through optically thin snowpacks. A provisional equation estimates litter fall on the snowpack, thereby reducing the areal averaged albedo. We showed that subcanopy radiation measurements can be used with a canopy model to estimate a branch area index for defoliated aspen as an analogue to the foliage area index used for conifers. Modelled incoming solar and long-wave radiation showed a strong correlation with measurements, with r(2) = 0.95 and 0.91 for solar and long-wave radiation, respectively. Model results demonstrate that net radiation overwhelms turbulent exchanges as the most significant driving force for snowmelt in aspen forests. Predicted snow ablation in the aspen stand compared very favourably with available data on snow depth. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • J. P. Hardy

  • R. E. Davis

  • R. Jordan

  • W. Ni

  • C. E. Woodcock

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