Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Research article
03 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 03 Jun 2016

Small-scale variation of snow in a regional permafrost model

Kjersti Gisnås, Sebastian Westermann, Thomas Vikhamar Schuler, Kjetil Melvold, and Bernd Etzelmüller

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A statistical approach to represent small-scale variability of permafrost temperatures due to snow cover
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Cited articles

Aune-Lundberg, L. and Strand, G.-H.: CORINE Land Cover 2006, The Norwegian CLC2006 project, Report from the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute 11/10, Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Ås, 14 pp., 2010.
Clark, M. P., Hendrikx, J., Slater, A. G., Kavetski, D., Anderson, B., Cullen, N. J., Kerr, T., Hreinsson, E. Ö., and Woods, R. A.: Representing spatial variability of snow water equivalent in hydrologic and land-surface models: A review, Water Resour. Res., 47, W07539,, 2011.
Donald, J. R., Soulis, E. D., Kouwen, N., and Pietroniro, A.: A Land Cover-Based Snow Cover Representation for Distributed Hydrologic Models, Water Resour. Res., 31, 995–1009, 1995.
Dunse, T., Schuler, T. V., Hagen, J. O., Eiken, T., Brandt, O., and Høgda, K. A.: Recent fluctuations in the extent of the firn area of Austfonna, Svalbard, inferred from GPR, Ann. Glaciol., 50, 155–162, 2009.
Engeset, R., Tveito, O. E., Alfnes, E., Mengistu, Z., Udnæs, C., Isaksen, K., and Førland, E. J.: Snow map System for Norway, XXIII Nordic Hydrological Conference, 8–12 August, Tallin, Estonia, NHP report, 48, 112–121, 2004.
Short summary
In wind exposed areas snow redistribution results in large spatial variability in ground temperatures. In these areas, the ground temperature of a grid cell must be determined based on the distribution, and not the average, of snow depths. We employ distribution functions of snow in a regional permafrost model, showing highly improved representation of ground temperatures. By including snow distributions, we find the permafrost area to be nearly twice as large as what is modelled without.