Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
30 Jan 2020
Research article | 30 Jan 2020
Identification of blowing snow particles in images from a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera
Mathieu Schaer et al.
No articles found.
Claudia Mignani, Lukas Zimmermann, Rigel Kivi, Alexis Berne, and Franz Conen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 13551–13568,Short summary
We determined over the course of 8 winter months the phase of clouds associated with snowfall in Northern Finland using radiosondes and observations of ice particle habits at ground level. We found that precipitating clouds were extending from near ground to at least 2.7 km altitude and approximately three-quarters of them were likely glaciated. Possible moisture sources and ice formation processes are discussed.
Étienne Vignon, Lea Raillard, Christophe Genthon, Massimo Del Guasta, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 12857–12872,Short summary
The near-surface atmosphere over the Antarctic Plateau is cold and pristine and resembles to a certain extent the high troposphere where cirrus clouds form. In this study, we use innovative humidity measurements at Concordia Station to study the formation of ice fogs at temperatures <−40°C. We provide observational evidence that ice fogs can form through the homogeneous freezing of solution aerosols, a common nucleation pathway for cirrus clouds.
Alfonso Ferrone and Alexis Berne
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESSDShort summary
This article presents the datasets collected between November 2019 and February 2020 in the vicinity of the Belgian research base Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. Five meteorological radars, a multi-angle snowflake camera, three weather stations, and two radiometers have been deployed at five sites, up to a maximum distance of 30 km from the base. Their varied locations allow the study of spatial variability in snowfall and its interaction with the complex terrain in the region.
Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Gionata Ghiggi, Louis Jaffeux, Audrey Martini, Nicolas Viltard, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for AMTShort summary
Better understanding and modeling snowfall properties and processes is relevant to many fields, ranging from weather forecasting to aircraft safety. Remote sensing, and especially weather radars, can be used to gain insights into the microphysics of snowfall. In this work, we propose a new method to retrieve snowfall properties from radar measurements. It relies on an original deep learning framework, which is constrained with knowledge of the underlying physics i.e. electromagnetic scattering.
Alfonso Ferrone, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 3569–3592,Short summary
The Micro Rain Radar PRO (MRR-PRO) is a meteorological radar, with a relevant set of features for deployment in remote locations. We developed an algorithm, named ERUO, for the processing of its measurements of snowfall. The algorithm addresses typical issues of the raw spectral data, such as interference lines, but also improves the quality and sensitivity of the radar variables. ERUO has been evaluated over four different datasets collected in Antarctica and in the Swiss Jura.
Jeong-Su Ko, Kyo-Sun Sunny Lim, Kwonil Kim, Gyuwon Lee, Gregory Thompson, and Alexis Berne
Geosci. Model Dev., 15, 4529–4553,Short summary
This study evaluates the performance of the four microphysics parameterizations, the WDM6, WDM7, Thompson, and Morrison schemes, in simulating snowfall events during the ICE-POP 2018 field campaign. Eight snowfall events are selected and classified into three categories (cold-low, warm-low, and air–sea interaction cases). The evaluation focuses on the simulated hydrometeors, microphysics budgets, wind fields, and precipitation using the measurement data.
Paraskevi Georgakaki, Georgia Sotiropoulou, Étienne Vignon, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Alexis Berne, and Athanasios Nenes
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 1965–1988,Short summary
The modelling study focuses on the importance of ice multiplication processes in orographic mixed-phase clouds, which is one of the least understood cloud types in the climate system. We show that the consideration of ice seeding and secondary ice production through ice–ice collisional breakup is essential for correct predictions of precipitation in mountainous terrain, with important implications for radiation processes.
Monika Feldmann, Urs Germann, Marco Gabella, and Alexis Berne
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 1225–1244,Short summary
Mesocyclones are the rotating updraught of supercell thunderstorms that present a particularly hazardous subset of thunderstorms. A first-time characterisation of the spatiotemporal occurrence of mesocyclones in the Alpine region is presented, using 5 years of Swiss operational radar data. We investigate parallels to hailstorms, particularly the influence of large-scale flow, daily cycles and terrain. Improving understanding of mesocyclones is valuable for risk assessment and warning purposes.
Jussi Leinonen, Jacopo Grazioli, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 6851–6866,Short summary
Measuring the shape, size and mass of a large number of snowflakes is a challenging task; it is hard to achieve in an automatic and instrumented manner. We present a method to retrieve these properties of individual snowflakes using as input a triplet of images/pictures automatically collected by a multi-angle snowflake camera (MASC) instrument. Our method, based on machine learning, is trained on artificially generated snowflakes and evaluated on 3D-printed snowflake replicas.
Marc Schwaerzel, Dominik Brunner, Fabian Jakub, Claudia Emde, Brigitte Buchmann, Alexis Berne, and Gerrit Kuhlmann
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 6469–6482,Short summary
NO2 maps from airborne imaging remote sensing often appear much smoother than one would expect from high-resolution model simulations of NO2 over cities, despite the small ground-pixel size of the sensors. Our case study over Zurich, using the newly implemented building module of the MYSTIC radiative transfer solver, shows that the 3D effect can explain part of the smearing and that building shadows cause a noticeable underestimation and noise in the measured NO2 columns.
Anna Špačková, Vojtěch Bareš, Martin Fencl, Marc Schleiss, Joël Jaffrain, Alexis Berne, and Jörg Rieckermann
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 4219–4240,Short summary
An original dataset of microwave signal attenuation and rainfall variables was collected during 1-year-long field campaign. The monitored 38 GHz dual-polarized commercial microwave link with a short sampling resolution (4 s) was accompanied by five disdrometers and three rain gauges along its path. Antenna radomes were temporarily shielded for approximately half of the campaign period to investigate antenna wetting impacts.
Paraskevi Georgakaki, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Jörg Wieder, Claudia Mignani, Fabiola Ramelli, Zamin A. Kanji, Jan Henneberger, Maxime Hervo, Alexis Berne, Ulrike Lohmann, and Athanasios Nenes
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 10993–11012,Short summary
Aerosol and cloud observations coupled with a droplet activation parameterization was used to investigate the aerosol–cloud droplet link in alpine mixed-phase clouds. Predicted droplet number, Nd, agrees with observations and never exceeds a characteristic “limiting droplet number”, Ndlim, which depends solely on σw. Nd becomes velocity limited when it is within 50 % of Ndlim. Identifying when dynamical changes control Nd variability is central for understanding aerosol–cloud interactions.
Noémie Planat, Josué Gehring, Étienne Vignon, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 4543–4564,Short summary
We implement a new method to identify microphysical processes during cold precipitation events based on the sign of the vertical gradient of polarimetric radar variables. We analytically asses the meteorological conditions for this vertical analysis to hold, apply it on two study cases and successfully compare it with other methods informing about the microphysics. Finally, we are able to obtain the main vertical structure and characteristics of the different processes during these study cases.
Daniel Wolfensberger, Marco Gabella, Marco Boscacci, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 3169–3193,Short summary
In this work, we present a novel quantitative precipitation estimation method for Switzerland that uses random forests, an ensemble-based machine learning technique. The estimator has been trained with a database of 4 years of ground and radar observations. The results of an in-depth evaluation indicate that, compared with the more classical method in use at MeteoSwiss, this novel estimator is able to reduce both the average error and bias of the predictions.
Anne-Claire Billault-Roux and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 2749–2769,Short summary
In the context of climate studies, understanding the role of clouds on a global and local scale is of paramount importance. One aspect is the quantification of cloud liquid water, which impacts the Earth’s radiative balance. This is routinely achieved with radiometers operating at different frequencies. In this study, we propose an approach that uses a single-frequency radiometer and that can be applied at any location to retrieve vertically integrated quantities of liquid water and water vapor.
Josué Gehring, Alfonso Ferrone, Anne-Claire Billault-Roux, Nikola Besic, Kwang Deuk Ahn, GyuWon Lee, and Alexis Berne
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 417–433,Short summary
This article describes a dataset of precipitation and cloud measurements collected from November 2017 to March 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The dataset includes weather radar data and images of snowflakes. It allows for studying the snowfall intensity; wind conditions; and shape, size and fall speed of snowflakes. Classifications of the types of snowflakes show that aggregates of ice crystals were dominant. This dataset represents a unique opportunity to study snowfall in this region.
Georgia Sotiropoulou, Étienne Vignon, Gillian Young, Hugh Morrison, Sebastian J. O'Shea, Thomas Lachlan-Cope, Alexis Berne, and Athanasios Nenes
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 755–771,Short summary
Summer clouds have a significant impact on the radiation budget of the Antarctic surface and thus on ice-shelf melting. However, these are poorly represented in climate models due to errors in their microphysical structure, including the number of ice crystals that they contain. We show that breakup from ice particle collisions can substantially magnify the ice crystal number concentration with significant implications for surface radiation. This process is currently missing in climate models.
Marc Schwaerzel, Claudia Emde, Dominik Brunner, Randulph Morales, Thomas Wagner, Alexis Berne, Brigitte Buchmann, and Gerrit Kuhlmann
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 4277–4293,Short summary
Horizontal homogeneity is often assumed for trace gases remote sensing, although it is not valid where trace gas concentrations have high spatial variability, e.g., in cities. We show the importance of 3D effects for MAX-DOAS and airborne imaging spectrometers using 3D-box air mass factors implemented in the MYSTIC radiative transfer solver. In both cases, 3D information is invaluable for interpreting the measurements, as not considering 3D effects can lead to misinterpretation of measurements.
Josué Gehring, Annika Oertel, Étienne Vignon, Nicolas Jullien, Nikola Besic, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 7373–7392,Short summary
In this study, we analyse how large-scale meteorological conditions influenced the local enhancement of snowfall during an intense precipitation event in Korea. We used atmospheric models, weather radars and snowflake images. We found out that a rising airstream in the warm sector of the low pressure system associated to this event influenced the evolution of snowfall. This study highlights the importance of interactions between large and local scales in this intense precipitation event.
Jussi Leinonen and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 2949–2964,Short summary
The appearance of snowflakes provides a signature of the atmospheric processes that created them. To get this information from large numbers of snowflake images, automated analysis using computer image recognition is needed. In this work, we use a neural network that learns the structure of the snowflake images to divide a snowflake dataset into classes corresponding to different sizes and structures. Unlike with most comparable methods, only minimal input from a human expert is needed.
Nicolas Jullien, Étienne Vignon, Michael Sprenger, Franziska Aemisegger, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 14, 1685–1702,Short summary
Although snowfall is the main input of water to the Antarctic ice sheet, snowflakes are often evaporated by dry and fierce winds near the surface of the continent. The amount of snow that actually reaches the ground is therefore considerably reduced. By analyzing the position of cyclones and fronts as well as by back-tracing the atmospheric moisture pathway towards Antarctica, this study explains in which meteorological conditions snowfall is either completely evaporated or reaches the ground.
Floor van den Heuvel, Loris Foresti, Marco Gabella, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 13, 2481–2500,Short summary
In areas with reduced visibility at the ground level, radar precipitation measurements higher up in the atmosphere need to be extrapolated to the ground and be corrected for the vertical change (i.e. growth and transformation) of precipitation. This study proposes a method based on hydrometeor proportions and machine learning (ML) to apply these corrections at smaller spatiotemporal scales. In comparison with existing techniques, the ML methods can make predictions from higher altitudes.
Étienne Vignon, Olivier Traullé, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 4659–4683,Short summary
The future sea-level rise will depend on how much the Antarctic ice sheet gain – via precipitation – or loose mass. The simulation of precipitation by numerical models used for projections depends on the representation of the atmospheric circulation over and around Antarctica. Using daily measurements from balloon soundings at nine Antarctic stations, this study characterizes the structure of the atmosphere over the Antarctic coast and its representation in atmospheric simulations.
Florentin Lemonnier, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, Chantal Claud, Christophe Genthon, Claudio Durán-Alarcón, Cyril Palerme, Alexis Berne, Niels Souverijns, Nicole van Lipzig, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, Tristan L'Ecuyer, and Norman Wood
The Cryosphere, 13, 943–954,Short summary
Evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with two surface-based micro-rain radars (MRR) located at two antarctic stations gives a near-perfect correlation between both datasets, even though climatic and geographic conditions are different for the stations. A better understanding and reassessment of CloudSat uncertainties ranging from −13 % up to +22 % confirms the robustness of the CloudSat retrievals of snowfall over Antarctica.
Claudio Durán-Alarcón, Brice Boudevillain, Christophe Genthon, Jacopo Grazioli, Niels Souverijns, Nicole P. M. van Lipzig, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 13, 247–264,Short summary
Precipitation is the main input in the surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet, but it is still poorly understood due to a lack of observations in this region. We analyzed the vertical structure of the precipitation using multiyear observation of vertically pointing micro rain radars (MRRs) at two stations located in East Antarctica. The use of MRRs showed the potential to study the effect of climatology and hydrometeor microphysics on the vertical structure of Antarctic precipitation.
Niels Souverijns, Alexandra Gossart, Stef Lhermitte, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, Jacopo Grazioli, Alexis Berne, Claudio Duran-Alarcon, Brice Boudevillain, Christophe Genthon, Claudio Scarchilli, and Nicole P. M. van Lipzig
The Cryosphere, 12, 3775–3789,Short summary
Snowfall observations over Antarctica are scarce and currently limited to information from the CloudSat satellite. Here, a first evaluation of the CloudSat snowfall record is performed using observations of ground-based precipitation radars. Results indicate an accurate representation of the snowfall climatology over Antarctica, despite the low overpass frequency of the satellite, outperforming state-of-the-art model estimates. Individual snowfall events are however not well represented.
Franziska Gerber, Nikola Besic, Varun Sharma, Rebecca Mott, Megan Daniels, Marco Gabella, Alexis Berne, Urs Germann, and Michael Lehning
The Cryosphere, 12, 3137–3160,Short summary
A comparison of winter precipitation variability in operational radar measurements and high-resolution simulations reveals that large-scale variability is well captured by the model, depending on the event. Precipitation variability is driven by topography and wind. A good portion of small-scale variability is captured at the highest resolution. This is essential to address small-scale precipitation processes forming the alpine snow seasonal snow cover – an important source of water.
Floor van den Heuvel, Marco Gabella, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 5181–5198,Short summary
The paper aims at characterising and quantifying the spatio-temporal variability of the melting layer (ML; transition zone from solid to liquid precipitation). A method based on the Fourier transform is found to accurately describe different ML signatures. Hence, it is applied to characterise the ML variability in a relatively flat area and in an inner Alpine valley in Switzerland, where the variability at smaller spatial scales is found to be relatively more important.
Christophe Genthon, Alexis Berne, Jacopo Grazioli, Claudio Durán Alarcón, Christophe Praz, and Brice Boudevillain
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1605–1612,Short summary
Antarctica suffers from a severe shortage of in situ observations of precipitation. The APRES3 program contributes to improving observation from both the surface and from space. A field campaign with various instruments was deployed at the coast of Adélie Land, with an intensive observing period in austral summer 2015–16, then continuous radar monitoring through 2016 and beyond. This paper provides a compact presentation of the APRES3 dataset, which is now made open to the scientific community.
Nikola Besic, Josué Gehring, Christophe Praz, Jordi Figueras i Ventura, Jacopo Grazioli, Marco Gabella, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4847–4866,Short summary
In this paper we propose an innovative approach for hydrometeor de-mixing, i.e., to identify and quantify the presence of mixtures of different hydrometeor types in a radar sampling volume. It is a bin-based approach, inspired by conventional decomposition methods and evaluated using C- and X-band radar measurements compared with synchronous ground observations. The paper also investigates the potential influence of incoherency in the backscattering from hydrometeor mixtures in a radar volume.
Fanny Jeanneret, Giovanni Martucci, Simon Pinnock, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4153–4170,Short summary
Above mountainous regions, satellites may have difficulty in discriminating snow from clouds: this study proposes a new method that combines different ground-based measurements to assess the sky cloudiness with high temporal resolution. The method's output is used as input to a model capable of identifying false satellite cloud detections. Results show that 62 ± 13 % of these false detections can be identified by the model when applied to the AVHRR-PM and MODIS Aqua data sets of the Cloud_cci.
Daniel Wolfensberger and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 3883–3916,Short summary
This work presents a polarimetric forward operator for the COSMO weather prediction model. This tool is able to simulate radar observables from the state of the atmosphere simulated by the model, taking into account most physical aspects of radar beam propagation and backscattering. This operator was validated with a large dataset of radar observations from several instruments and it was shown that is able to simulate a realistic radar signature in liquid precipitation.
Daniel Wolfensberger, Auguste Gires, Ioulia Tchiguirinskaia, Daniel Schertzer, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 14253–14273,Short summary
Precipitation intensities simulated by the COSMO weather prediction model are compared to radar observations over a range of spatial and temporal scales using the universal multifractal framework. Our results highlight the strong influence of meteorological and topographical features on the multifractal characteristics of precipitation. Moreover, the influence of the subgrid parameterizations of COSMO is clearly visible by a break in the scaling properties that is absent from the radar data.
Jacopo Grazioli, Christophe Genthon, Brice Boudevillain, Claudio Duran-Alarcon, Massimo Del Guasta, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 11, 1797–1811,Short summary
We present medium and long-term measurements of precipitation in a coastal region of Antarctica. These measurements are among the first of their kind on the Antarctic continent and combine remote sensing with in situ observations. The benefits of this synergy are demonstrated and the lessons learned from this measurements, which are still ongoing, are very important for the creation of similar observatories elsewhere on the continent.
Timothy H. Raupach and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 2573–2594,Short summary
The raindrop size distribution (DSD) describes the microstructure of rain. It is required knowledge for weather radar applications and has broad applicability to studies of rainfall processes, including weather models and rain retrieval algorithms. We present a new technique for estimating the DSD from polarimetric radar data. The new method was tested in three different domains, and its performance was found to be similar to and often better than an an existing DSD retrieval method.
Christophe Praz, Yves-Alain Roulet, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 1335–1357,Short summary
The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) provides high-resolution pictures of individual falling snowflakes and ice crystals. A method is proposed to automatically classify these pictures into six classes of snowflakes as well to estimate the degree of riming and to detect whether or not the particles are melting. Multinomial logistic regression is used with a manually classified reference set. The evaluation demonstrates the good and reliable performance of the proposed technique.
Guillaume Nord, Brice Boudevillain, Alexis Berne, Flora Branger, Isabelle Braud, Guillaume Dramais, Simon Gérard, Jérôme Le Coz, Cédric Legoût, Gilles Molinié, Joel Van Baelen, Jean-Pierre Vandervaere, Julien Andrieu, Coralie Aubert, Martin Calianno, Guy Delrieu, Jacopo Grazioli, Sahar Hachani, Ivan Horner, Jessica Huza, Raphaël Le Boursicaud, Timothy H. Raupach, Adriaan J. Teuling, Magdalena Uber, Béatrice Vincendon, and Annette Wijbrans
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 221–249,Short summary
A high space–time resolution dataset linking hydrometeorological forcing and hydro-sedimentary response in a mesoscale catchment (Auzon, 116 km2) of the Ardèche region (France) is presented. This region is subject to precipitating systems of Mediterranean origin, which can result in significant rainfall amount. The data presented cover a period of 4 years (2011–2014) and aim at improving the understanding of processes triggering flash floods.
Nikola Besic, Jordi Figueras i Ventura, Jacopo Grazioli, Marco Gabella, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4425–4445,Short summary
In this paper we propose a novel semi-supervised method for hydrometeor classification, which takes into account both the specificities of acquired polarimetric radar measurements and the presumed electromagnetic behavior of different hydrometeor types. The method has been applied on three datasets, each acquired by different C-band radar from the Swiss network, and on two X-band research radar datasets. The obtained classification is found to be of high quality.
Luca Panziera, Marco Gabella, Stefano Zanini, Alessandro Hering, Urs Germann, and Alexis Berne
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2317–2332,Short summary
This paper presents a novel system to issue heavy rainfall alerts for predefined geographical regions by evaluating the sum of precipitation fallen in the immediate past and expected in the near future. In order to objectively define the thresholds for the alerts, an extreme rainfall analysis for the 159 regions used for official warnings in Switzerland was developed. It is shown that the system has additional lead time with respect to thunderstorm tracking tools targeted for convective storms.
J. Grazioli, G. Lloyd, L. Panziera, C. R. Hoyle, P. J. Connolly, J. Henneberger, and A. Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 13787–13802,Short summary
This study investigates the microphysics of winter alpine snowfall occurring in mixed-phase clouds in an inner-Alpine valley during CLACE2014. From polarimetric radar and in situ observations, riming is shown to be an important process leading to more intense snowfall. Riming is usually associated with more intense turbulence providing supercooled liquid water. Distinct features are identified in the vertical structure of polarimetric radar variables.
M. Stähli, M. Sättele, C. Huggel, B. W. McArdell, P. Lehmann, A. Van Herwijnen, A. Berne, M. Schleiss, A. Ferrari, A. Kos, D. Or, and S. M. Springman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 905–917,Short summary
This review paper describes the state of the art in monitoring and predicting rapid mass movements for early warning. It further presents recent innovations in observation technologies and modelling to be used in future early warning systems (EWS). Finally, the paper proposes avenues towards successful implementation of next-generation EWS.
T. H. Raupach and A. Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 343–365,Short summary
Using the 2-D video disdrometer (2DVD) as a reference, a technique to correct the spectra of drop size distribution (DSD) measured by Parsivel disdrometers (1st and 2nd generation) is proposed. The measured velocities and equivolume diameters are corrected to better match those from the 2DVD. The correction is evaluated using data from southern France and the Swiss Plateau. It appears to be similar for both climatologies, and to improve the consistency with colocated 2DVDs and rain gauges.
J. Grazioli, D. Tuia, and A. Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 149–170,Short summary
A new approach for hydrometeor classification from polarimetric radar measurements is proposed. It takes adavantage of clustering techniques to objectively determine the number of hydrometeor classes that can be reliably identified. The proposed method is tested using observations from an X-band polarimetric radar in different regions and evaluated by comparison with existing algorithms and with measurements from a ground-based 2D video disdrometer (providing 2-D views of falling hydrometeors).
J. Grazioli, D. Tuia, S. Monhart, M. Schneebeli, T. Raupach, and A. Berne
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 2869–2882,
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Pyei Phyo Lin, Isabel Peinke, Pascal Hagenmuller, Matthias Wächter, M. Reza Rahimi Tabar, and Joachim Peinke
The Cryosphere, 16, 4811–4822,Short summary
Characterization of layers of snowpack with highly resolved micro-cone penetration tests leads to detailed fluctuating signals. We used advanced stochastic analysis to differentiate snow types by interpreting the signals as a mixture of continuous and discontinuous random fluctuations. These two types of fluctuation seem to correspond to different mechanisms of drag force generation during the experiments. The proposed methodology provides new insights into the characterization of snow layers.
Theodore Letcher, Julie Parno, Zoe Courville, Lauren Farnsworth, and Jason Olivier
The Cryosphere, 16, 4343–4361,Short summary
We present a radiative transfer model that uses ray tracing to determine optical properties from computer-generated 3D renderings of snow resolved at the microscale and to simulate snow spectral reflection and transmission for visible and near-infrared light. We expand ray-tracing techniques applied to sub-1 cm3 snow samples to model an entire snowpack column. The model is able to reproduce known snow surface optical properties, and simulations compare well against field observations.
Marcel Stefko, Silvan Leinss, Othmar Frey, and Irena Hajnsek
The Cryosphere, 16, 2859–2879,Short summary
The coherent backscatter opposition effect can enhance the intensity of radar backscatter from dry snow by up to a factor of 2. Despite widespread use of radar backscatter data by snow scientists, this effect has received notably little attention. For the first time, we characterize this effect for the Earth's snow cover with bistatic radar experiments from ground and from space. We are also able to retrieve scattering and absorbing lengths of snow at Ku- and X-band frequencies.
Hongxiang Yu, Guang Li, Benjamin Walter, Michael Lehning, Jie Zhang, and Ning Huang
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Snow cornices lead to potential risk in causing snow avalanche hazards, which are still unknown so far. We carried out a wind tunnel experiment in a cold lab to investigate the environmental conditions for snow cornice accretion recorded by a camera. Results show that cornices appear only under moderate wind speeds, which leads to necessary mass flux divergence near the edge. These results improve our understanding of cornice formation and have implications for predicting snow hazards.
Antoine Guillemot, Alec van Herwijnen, Eric Larose, Stephanie Mayer, and Laurent Baillet
The Cryosphere, 15, 5805–5817,Short summary
Ambient noise correlation is a broadly used method in seismology to monitor tiny changes in subsurface properties. Some environmental forcings may influence this method, including snow. During one winter season, we studied this snow effect on seismic velocity of the medium, recorded by a pair of seismic sensors. We detected and modeled a measurable effect during early snowfalls: the fresh new snow layer modifies rigidity and density of the medium, thus decreasing the recorded seismic velocity.
Rémi Granger, Frédéric Flin, Wolfgang Ludwig, Ismail Hammad, and Christian Geindreau
The Cryosphere, 15, 4381–4398,Short summary
In this study on temperature gradient metamorphism in snow, we investigate the hypothesis that there exists a favourable crystal orientation relative to the temperature gradient. We measured crystallographic orientations of the grains and their microstructural evolution during metamorphism using in situ time-lapse diffraction contrast tomography. Faceted crystals appear during the evolution, and we observe higher sublimation–deposition rates for grains with their c axis in the horizontal plane.
Marie Dumont, Frederic Flin, Aleksey Malinka, Olivier Brissaud, Pascal Hagenmuller, Philippe Lapalus, Bernard Lesaffre, Anne Dufour, Neige Calonne, Sabine Rolland du Roscoat, and Edward Ando
The Cryosphere, 15, 3921–3948,Short summary
The role of snow microstructure in snow optical properties is only partially understood despite the importance of snow optical properties for the Earth system. We present a dataset combining bidirectional reflectance measurements and 3D images of snow. We show that the snow reflectance is adequately simulated using the distribution of the ice chord lengths in the snow microstructure and that the impact of the morphological type of snow is especially important when ice is highly absorptive.
Kévin Fourteau, Florent Domine, and Pascal Hagenmuller
The Cryosphere, 15, 2739–2755,Short summary
The thermal conductivity of snow is an important physical property governing the thermal regime of a snowpack and its substrate. We show that it strongly depends on the kinetics of water vapor sublimation and that previous experimental data suggest a rather fast kinetics. In such a case, neglecting water vapor leads to an underestimation of thermal conductivity by up to 50 % for light snow. Moreover, the diffusivity of water vapor in snow is then directly related to the thermal conductivity.
Wei Pu, Tenglong Shi, Jiecan Cui, Yang Chen, Yue Zhou, and Xin Wang
The Cryosphere, 15, 2255–2272,Short summary
We have explicitly resolved optical properties of coated BC in snow for explaining complex enhancement of snow albedo reduction due to coating effect in real environments. The parameterizations are developed for climate models to improve the understanding of BC in snow on global climate. We demonstrated that the contribution of BC coating effect to snow light absorption has exceeded dust over north China and will significantly contribute to the retreat of Arctic sea ice and Tibetan glaciers.
J. Melchior van Wessem, Christian R. Steger, Nander Wever, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 15, 695–714,Short summary
This study presents the first modelled estimates of perennial firn aquifers (PFAs) in Antarctica. PFAs are subsurface meltwater bodies that do not refreeze in winter due to the isolating effects of the snow they are buried underneath. They were first identified in Greenland, but conditions for their existence are also present in the Antarctic Peninsula. These PFAs can have important effects on meltwater retention, ice shelf stability, and, consequently, sea level rise.
Kévin Fourteau, Florent Domine, and Pascal Hagenmuller
The Cryosphere, 15, 389–406,Short summary
There has been a long controversy to determine whether the effective diffusion coefficient of water vapor in snow is superior to that in free air. Using theory and numerical modeling, we show that while water vapor diffuses more than inert gases thanks to its interaction with the ice, the effective diffusion coefficient of water vapor in snow remains inferior to that in free air. This suggests that other transport mechanisms are responsible for the large vapor fluxes observed in some snowpacks.
Fanny Larue, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Inès Ollivier, Clément Delcourt, Maxim Lamare, François Tuzet, Jesus Revuelto, and Marie Dumont
The Cryosphere, 14, 1651–1672,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.
Colin R. Meyer, Kaitlin M. Keegan, Ian Baker, and Robert L. Hawley
The Cryosphere, 14, 1449–1458,Short summary
We describe snow compaction laboratory data with a new mathematical model. Using a compression device that is similar to a French press with snow instead of coffee grounds, Wang and Baker (2013) compacted numerous snow samples of different densities at a constant velocity to determine the force required for snow compaction. Our mathematical model for compaction includes airflow through snow and predicts the required force, in agreement with the experimental data.
Philipp L. Rosendahl and Philipp Weißgraeber
The Cryosphere, 14, 115–130,Short summary
Dry-snow slab avalanche release is preceded by a fracture process within the snowpack. Recognizing weak layer collapse as an integral part of the fracture process is crucial and explains phenomena such as whumpf sounds and remote triggering of avalanches from low-angle terrain. In this first part of the two-part work we propose a novel closed-form analytical model for a snowpack that provides a highly efficient and precise analysis of the mechanical response of a loaded snowpack.
Philipp L. Rosendahl and Philipp Weißgraeber
The Cryosphere, 14, 131–145,Short summary
Dry-snow slab avalanche release is preceded by a fracture process within the snowpack. Recognizing weak layer collapse as an integral part of the fracture process is crucial and explains phenomena such as whumpf sounds and remote triggering of avalanches from low-angle terrain. In this second part of the two-part work we propose a novel mixed-mode coupled stress and energy failure criterion for nucleation of weak layer failure due to external loading of the snowpack.
Silvan Leinss, Henning Löwe, Martin Proksch, and Anna Kontu
The Cryosphere, 14, 51–75,Short summary
The anisotropy of the snow microstructure, given by horizontally aligned ice crystals and vertically interlinked crystal chains, is a key quantity to understand mechanical, dielectric, and thermodynamical properties of snow. We present a model which describes the temporal evolution of the anisotropy. The model is driven by snow temperature, temperature gradient, and the strain rate. The model is calibrated by polarimetric radar data (CPD) and validated by computer tomographic 3-D snow images.
Pascal Hagenmuller, Frederic Flin, Marie Dumont, François Tuzet, Isabel Peinke, Philippe Lapalus, Anne Dufour, Jacques Roulle, Laurent Pézard, Didier Voisin, Edward Ando, Sabine Rolland du Roscoat, and Pascal Charrier
The Cryosphere, 13, 2345–2359,Short summary
Light–absorbing particles (LAPs, e.g. dust or black carbon) in snow are a potent climate forcing agent. Their presence darkens the snow surface and leads to higher solar energy absorption. Several studies have quantified this radiative impact by assuming that LAPs were motionless in dry snow, without any clear evidence of this assumption. Using time–lapse X–ray tomography, we show that temperature gradient metamorphism of snow induces downward motion of LAPs, leading to self–cleaning of snow.
Francois Tuzet, Marie Dumont, Laurent Arnaud, Didier Voisin, Maxim Lamare, Fanny Larue, Jesus Revuelto, and Ghislain Picard
The Cryosphere, 13, 2169–2187,Short summary
Here we present a novel method to estimate the impurity content (e.g. black carbon or mineral dust) in Alpine snow based on measurements of light extinction profiles. This method is proposed as an alternative to chemical measurements, allowing rapid retrievals of vertical concentrations of impurities in the snowpack. In addition, the results provide a better understanding of the impact of impurities on visible light extinction in snow.
Biagio Di Mauro, Roberto Garzonio, Micol Rossini, Gianluca Filippa, Paolo Pogliotti, Marta Galvagno, Umberto Morra di Cella, Mirco Migliavacca, Giovanni Baccolo, Massimiliano Clemenza, Barbara Delmonte, Valter Maggi, Marie Dumont, François Tuzet, Matthieu Lafaysse, Samuel Morin, Edoardo Cremonese, and Roberto Colombo
The Cryosphere, 13, 1147–1165,Short summary
The snow albedo reduction due to dust from arid regions alters the melting dynamics of the snowpack, resulting in earlier snowmelt. We estimate up to 38 days of anticipated snow disappearance for a season that was characterized by a strong dust deposition event. This process has a series of further impacts. For example, earlier snowmelts may alter the hydrological cycle in the Alps, induce higher sensitivity to late summer drought, and finally impact vegetation and animal phenology.
Varun Sharma, Francesco Comola, and Michael Lehning
The Cryosphere, 12, 3499–3509,Short summary
The Thorpe-Mason (TM) model describes how an ice grain sublimates during aeolian transport. We revisit this classic model using simple numerical experiments and discover that for many common scenarios, the model is likely to underestimate the amount of ice loss. Extending this result to drifting and blowing snow using high-resolution turbulent flow simulations, the study shows that current estimates for ice loss due to sublimation in regions such as Antarctica need to be significantly updated.
Benjamin Birner, Christo Buizert, Till J. W. Wagner, and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus
The Cryosphere, 12, 2021–2037,Short summary
Ancient air enclosed in bubbles of the Antarctic ice sheet is a key source of information about the Earth's past climate. However, a range of physical processes in the snow layer atop an ice sheet may change the trapped air's chemical composition before it is occluded in the ice. We developed the first detailed 2-D computer simulation of these processes and found a new method to improve the reconstruction of past climate from air in ice cores bubbles.
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Wind and precipitation often occur together, making the distinction between particles coming from the atmosphere and those blown by the wind difficult. This is however a crucial task to accurately close the surface mass balance. We propose an algorithm based on Gaussian mixture models to separate blowing snow and precipitation in images collected by a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC). The algorithm is trained and (positively) evaluated using data collected in the Swiss Alps and in Antarctica.
Wind and precipitation often occur together, making the distinction between particles coming...