Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 14, 1651–1672, 2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 1651–1672, 2020

Research article 27 May 2020

Research article | 27 May 2020

Snow albedo sensitivity to macroscopic surface roughness using a new ray-tracing model

Fanny Larue et al.

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Cited articles

Arnaud, L., Picard, G., Champollion, N., Domine, F., Gallet, J. C., Lefebvre, E., and Barnola, J. M.: Measurement of vertical profiles of snow specific surface area with a 1 cm resolution using infrared reflectance: instrument description and validation, J. Glaciol., 57, 17–29,, 2011. 
Atlaskina, K., Berninger, F., and de Leeuw, G.: Satellite observations of changes in snow-covered land surface albedo during spring in the Northern Hemisphere, The Cryosphere, 9, 1879–1893,, 2015. 
Brock, B. W., Willis, I. C., and Sharp, M. J.: Measurement and parameterization of albedo variations at Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland, J. Glaciol., 46, 675–688, 2000. 
Carroll, J. J.: The effect of surface striations on the absorption of shortwave radiation, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 9647–9652, 1982b 
Carroll, J. J. and Fitch, B. W.: Effects of solar elevation and cloudiness on snow albedo at the South Pole, J. Geophys. Res., 86, 5271–5276,, 1981. 
Short summary
The effect of surface roughness on snow albedo is often overlooked, although a small change in albedo may strongly affect the surface energy budget. By carving artificial roughness in an initially smooth snowpack, we highlight albedo reductions of 0.03–0.04 at 700 nm and 0.06–0.10 at 1000 nm. A model using photon transport is developed to compute albedo considering roughness and applied to understand the impact of roughness as a function of snow properties and illumination conditions.