Articles | Volume 12, issue 11
Research article
27 Nov 2018
Research article |  | 27 Nov 2018

Observation and modelling of snow at a polygonal tundra permafrost site: spatial variability and thermal implications

Isabelle Gouttevin, Moritz Langer, Henning Löwe, Julia Boike, Martin Proksch, and Martin Schneebeli


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Short summary
Snow insulates the ground from the cold air in the Arctic winter, majorly affecting permafrost. This insulation depends on snow characteristics and is poorly quantified. Here, we characterize it at a carbon-rich permafrost site, using a recent technique that retrieves the 3-D structure of snow and its thermal properties. We adapt a snowpack model enabling the simulation of this insulation over a whole winter. We estimate that local snow variations induce up to a 6 °C spread in soil temperatures.