Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
Research article 05 Apr 2013
Research article | 05 Apr 2013
Theoretical study of solar light reflectance from vertical snow surfaces
O. V. Nikolaeva and A. A. Kokhanovsky
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The Cryosphere, 7, 1325–1331,
Related subject area
Snow PhysicsMacroscopic water vapor diffusion is not enhanced in snowModelling perennial firn aquifers in the Antarctic Peninsula (1979–2016)Snow albedo sensitivity to macroscopic surface roughness using a new ray-tracing modelA model for French-press experiments of dry snow compactionIdentification of blowing snow particles in images from a Multi-Angle Snowflake CameraModeling snow slab avalanches caused by weak-layer failure – Part 1: Slabs on compliant and collapsible weak layersModeling snow slab avalanches caused by weak-layer failure – Part 2: Coupled mixed-mode criterion for skier-triggered anticracksModeling the evolution of the structural anisotropy of snowMotion of dust particles in dry snow under temperature gradient metamorphismInfluence of light-absorbing particles on snow spectral irradiance profilesThermal conductivity of firn at Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard, derived from subsurface temperature measurementsSaharan dust events in the European Alps: role in snowmelt and geochemical characterizationOn the suitability of the Thorpe–Mason model for calculating sublimation of saltating snowThe influence of layering and barometric pumping on firn air transport in a 2-D modelSurface formation, preservation, and history of low-porosity crusts at the WAIS Divide site, West AntarcticaThe significance of vertical moisture diffusion on drifting snow sublimation near snow surfaceComparison of different methods to retrieve optical-equivalent snow grain size in central AntarcticaA multilayer physically based snowpack model simulating direct and indirect radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities in snowExperimental observation of transient δ18O interaction between snow and advective airflow under various temperature gradient conditionsA multiphysical ensemble system of numerical snow modellingProcess-level model evaluation: a snow and heat transfer metricNear-surface snow particle dynamics from particle tracking velocimetry and turbulence measurements during alpine blowing snow stormsRelating optical and microwave grain metrics of snow: the relevance of grain shapeRefinement of the ice absorption spectrum in the visible using radiance profile measurements in Antarctic snowAnisotropy of seasonal snow measured by polarimetric phase differences in radar time seriesSensitivity of snow density and specific surface area measured by microtomography to different image processing algorithmsMetamorphism during temperature gradient with undersaturated advective airflow in a snow sampleMeasurements and modelling of snow particle size and shortwave infrared albedo over a melting Antarctic ice sheetMicrowave scattering coefficient of snow in MEMLS and DMRT-ML revisited: the relevance of sticky hard spheres and tomography-based estimates of stickinessMicrostructure-based modeling of snow mechanics: a discrete element approachA macroscale mixture theory analysis of deposition and sublimation rates during heat and mass transfer in dry snowTomography-based monitoring of isothermal snow metamorphism under advective conditionsParameterization of single-scattering properties of snowStudy of a temperature gradient metamorphism of snow from 3-D images: time evolution of microstructures, physical properties and their associated anisotropyInfluence of stress, temperature and crystal morphology on isothermal densification and specific surface area decrease of new snowThe growth of sublimation crystals and surface hoar on the Antarctic plateauMeasuring the specific surface area of wet snow using 1310 nm reflectanceImplementation and evaluation of prognostic representations of the optical diameter of snow in the SURFEX/ISBA-Crocus detailed snowpack modelGas diffusivity and permeability through the firn column at Summit, Greenland: measurements and comparison to microstructural propertiesSeasonal evolution of snow permeability under equi-temperature and temperature-gradient conditionsInfluence of grain shape on light penetration in snowA general treatment of snow microstructure exemplified by an improved relation for thermal conductivityWeak layer fracture: facets and depth hoarThermal conductivity of snow measured by three independent methods and anisotropy considerationsVapor flux and recrystallization during dry snow metamorphism under a steady temperature gradient as observed by time-lapse micro-tomography3-D image-based numerical computations of snow permeability: links to specific surface area, density, and microstructural anisotropyVertical profile of the specific surface area and density of the snow at Dome C and on a transect to Dumont D'Urville, Antarctica – albedo calculations and comparison to remote sensing productsSpatial and temporal variability in summer snow pack in Dronning Maud Land, AntarcticaSimulation of the specific surface area of snow using a one-dimensional physical snowpack model: implementation and evaluation for subarctic snow in Alaska
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.
J. Melchior van Wessem, Christian R. Steger, Nander Wever, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort 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 have first been identified in Greenland, but conditions for their existence are also present in the Antarctic Peninsula. These PFAs can have important effects on meltwater retention and ice shelf stability and, consequently, sea-level rise.
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.
Mathieu Schaer, Christophe Praz, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 14, 367–384,Short summary
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.
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.
Sergey Marchenko, Gong Cheng, Per Lötstedt, Veijo Pohjola, Rickard Pettersson, Ward van Pelt, and Carleen Reijmer
The Cryosphere, 13, 1843–1859,Short summary
Thermal conductivity (k) of firn at Lomonosovfonna, Svalbard, is estimated using measured temperature evolution and density. The optimized k values (0.2–1.6 W (m K)−1) increase downwards and over time and are most sensitive to systematic errors in measured temperature values and their depths, particularly in the lower part of the profile. Compared to the density-based parameterizations, derived k values are consistently larger, suggesting a faster conductive heat exchange in firn.
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.
John M. Fegyveresi, Richard B. Alley, Atsuhiro Muto, Anaïs J. Orsi, and Matthew K. Spencer
The Cryosphere, 12, 325–341,Short summary
Observations at the WAIS Divide site in West Antarctica show that near-surface snow is strongly altered by weather-related processes, such as strong winds and temperature fluctuations, producing features that are recognizable within the WDC06A ice core. Specifically, over 10 000 prominent crusts were observed in the upper 560 m of the core. We show that these crusts develop more often in summers, during relatively low-wind, low-humidity, clear-sky periods with intense daytime sunshine.
Ning Huang and Guanglei Shi
The Cryosphere, 11, 3011–3021,Short summary
Snow is an important part of the cryosphere, and blowing snow sublimation is an important method to change the snow distribution. However, in the previous studies blowing snow sublimation near surface was ignored. Herein, we built a blowing snow sublimation model to study the sublimation in near-surface region. The results showed that the mass of snow sublimation near surface accounted for even more than half of the total. Therefore, blowing snow sublimation near surface cannot be neglected.
Tim Carlsen, Gerit Birnbaum, André Ehrlich, Johannes Freitag, Georg Heygster, Larysa Istomina, Sepp Kipfstuhl, Anaïs Orsi, Michael Schäfer, and Manfred Wendisch
The Cryosphere, 11, 2727–2741,Short summary
The optical size of snow grains (ropt) affects the reflectivity of snow surfaces and thus the local surface energy budget in particular in polar regions. The temporal evolution of ropt retrieved from ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne remote sensing could reproduce optical in situ measurements for a 2-month period in central Antarctica (2013/14). The presented validation study provided a unique testbed for retrievals of ropt under Antarctic conditions where in situ data are scarce.
Francois Tuzet, Marie Dumont, Matthieu Lafaysse, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Didier Voisin, Yves Lejeune, Luc Charrois, Pierre Nabat, and Samuel Morin
The Cryosphere, 11, 2633–2653,Short summary
Light-absorbing impurities deposited on snow, such as soot or dust, strongly modify its evolution. We implemented impurity deposition and evolution in a detailed snowpack model, thereby expanding the reach of such models into addressing the subtle interplays between snow physics and impurities' optical properties. Model results were evaluated based on innovative field observations at an Alpine site. This allows future investigations in the fields of climate, hydrology and avalanche prediction.
Pirmin Philipp Ebner, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen, Barbara Stenni, Martin Schneebeli, and Aldo Steinfeld
The Cryosphere, 11, 1733–1743,Short summary
Stable water isotopes (δ18O) obtained from snow and ice samples from polar regions are used to reconstruct past climate variability. We present an experimental study on the effect on the snow isotopic composition by airflow through a snowpack in controlled laboratory conditions. The disequilibrium between snow and vapor isotopes changed the isotopic content of the snow. These measurements suggest that metamorphism and its history affect the snow isotopic composition.
Matthieu Lafaysse, Bertrand Cluzet, Marie Dumont, Yves Lejeune, Vincent Vionnet, and Samuel Morin
The Cryosphere, 11, 1173–1198,Short summary
Physically based multilayer snowpack models suffer from various modelling errors. To represent these errors, we built the new multiphysical ensemble system ESCROC by implementing new representations of different physical processes in a coupled multilayer ground/snowpack model. This system is a promising tool to integrate snow modelling errors in ensemble forecasting and ensemble assimilation systems in support of avalanche hazard forecasting and other snowpack modelling applications.
Andrew G. Slater, David M. Lawrence, and Charles D. Koven
The Cryosphere, 11, 989–996,Short summary
This work defines a metric for evaluation of a specific model snow process, namely, heat transfer through snow into soil. Heat transfer through snow regulates the difference in air temperature versus soil temperature. Accurate representation of the snow heat transfer process is critically important for accurate representation of the current and future state of permafrost. Utilizing this metric, we can clearly identify models that can and cannot reasonably represent snow heat transfer.
Nikolas O. Aksamit and John W. Pomeroy
The Cryosphere, 10, 3043–3062,Short summary
The first implementation of particle tracking velocimetry in outdoor alpine blowing snow has both provided new insight on intermittent snow particle transport initiation and entrainment in the dense near-surface "creep" layer whilst also confirming some wind tunnel observations. Environmental PTV has shown to be a viable avenue for furthering our understanding of the coupling of the atmospheric boundary layer turbulence and blowing snow transport.
Quirine Krol and Henning Löwe
The Cryosphere, 10, 2847–2863,Short summary
Optical and microwave modelling of snow involve different metrics of "grain size" and existing, empirical relations between them are subject to considerable scatter. We introduce two objectively defined metrics of grain shape, derived from micro-computed tomography images, that lead to improved statistical models between the different grain metrics. Our results allow to assess the relevance of grain shape in both fields on common grounds.
Ghislain Picard, Quentin Libois, and Laurent Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 10, 2655–2672,Short summary
The absorption of visible light in ice is very weak but its precise value is unknown. By measuring the profile of light intensity in snow, Warren and Brand (2006) deduced that light is attenuated by a factor 2 per kilometer in pure ice at a wavelength of 400 nm. We replicated their experiment on a large number of samples and found that ice absorption is at least 10 times stronger. The paper explores various potential physical and statistical biases that could impact the experiment.
Silvan Leinss, Henning Löwe, Martin Proksch, Juha Lemmetyinen, Andreas Wiesmann, and Irena Hajnsek
The Cryosphere, 10, 1771–1797,Short summary
Four years of anisotropy measurements of seasonal snow are presented in the paper. The anisotropy was measured every 4 h with a ground-based polarimetric radar. An electromagnetic model has been developed to measured the anisotropy with radar instruments from ground and from space. The anisotropic permittivity was derived with Maxwell–Garnett-type mixing formulas which are shown to be equivalent to series expansions of the permittivity tensor based on spatial correlation function of snow.
Pascal Hagenmuller, Margret Matzl, Guillaume Chambon, and Martin Schneebeli
The Cryosphere, 10, 1039–1054,Short summary
The paper focuses on the characterization of snow microstructure with X-ray microtomography, a technique that is progressively becoming the standard for snow characterization. In particular, it rigorously investigates how the image processing algorithms affect the subsequent microstructure characterization in terms of density and specific surface area. From this analysis, practical recommendations concerning the processing X-ray tomographic images of snow are provided.
Pirmin Philipp Ebner, Martin Schneebeli, and Aldo Steinfeld
The Cryosphere, 10, 791–797,Short summary
Changes of the porous ice structure were observed in a snow sample. Sublimation occurred due to the slight undersaturation of the incoming air into the warmer ice matrix. Diffusion of water vapor opposite to the direction of the temperature gradient counteracted the mass transport of advection. Therefore, the total net ice change was negligible, leading to a constant porosity profile. However, the strong recrystallization of water molecules in snow may impact its isotopic or chemical content.
R. Pirazzini, P. Räisänen, T. Vihma, M. Johansson, and E.-M. Tastula
The Cryosphere, 9, 2357–2381,Short summary
We illustrate a method to measure the size distribution of a snow particle metric from macro photos of snow particles. This snow particle metric corresponds well to the optically equivalent effective radius. Our results evidence the impact of grain shape on albedo, indicate that more than just one particle metric distribution is needed to characterize the snow scattering properties at all optical wavelengths, and suggest an impact of surface roughness on the shortwave infrared albedo.
H. Löwe and G. Picard
The Cryosphere, 9, 2101–2117,Short summary
The paper establishes a theoretical link between two widely used microwave models for snow. The scattering formulations from both models are unified by reformulating their microstructure models in a common framework. The results show that the scattering formulations can be considered equivalent, if exactly the same microstructure model is used. The paper also provides a method to measure a hitherto unknown input parameter for the microwave models from tomography images of snow.
P. Hagenmuller, G. Chambon, and M. Naaim
The Cryosphere, 9, 1969–1982,Short summary
This paper deals with a mechanical model that exploits a granular description of the snow microstructure. Its originality is that the geometry of the snow grains and of the inter-granular bonding system are explicitly defined from microtomographic data. It enables to model large deformations controlled by grain-rearrangements, which is of particular interest to study the collapse of weak layers or the characterization of the snowpack with an indenter.
A. C. Hansen and W. E. Foslien
The Cryosphere, 9, 1857–1878,Short summary
We implement a continuum mixture theory to elucidate coupled heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring in a snow cover. The effects of mass transfer near the ground, near the surface including diurnal temperature effects, as well as adjacent to an ice crust are examined. The analysis requires an accurate assessment of thermal conductivity and the mass diffusion coefficient for snow. An analytical model for these parameters is developed, showing remarkable agreement with numerical models.
P. P. Ebner, M. Schneebeli, and A. Steinfeld
The Cryosphere, 9, 1363–1371,Short summary
Time-lapse X-ray microtomography was used to investigate the structural dynamics of isothermal snow metamorphism exposed to an advective airflow and possible effects on natural snowpacks were discussed. The results showed that isothermal advection with saturated air have no influence on the coarsening rate that is typical for isothermal snow metamorphism. It is driven by sublimation-deposition caused by Kelvin effect and is the limiting factor independently of the transport regime in the pores.
P. Räisänen, A. Kokhanovsky, G. Guyot, O. Jourdan, and T. Nousiainen
The Cryosphere, 9, 1277–1301,Short summary
While snow grains are distinctly non-spherical, spheres are often assumed in radiative transfer calculations. Here, angular scattering measurements for blowing snow are used to select an optically equivalent snow grain shape model. Parameterizations are then developed for the asymmetry parameter, single-scattering co-albedo and phase function of snow. The parameterizations will help to improve the treatment of snow in radiative transfer applications, including remote sensing and climate models.
N. Calonne, F. Flin, C. Geindreau, B. Lesaffre, and S. Rolland du Roscoat
The Cryosphere, 8, 2255–2274,
S. Schleef, H. Löwe, and M. Schneebeli
The Cryosphere, 8, 1825–1838,
J.-C. Gallet, F. Domine, J. Savarino, M. Dumont, and E. Brun
The Cryosphere, 8, 1205–1215,
J.-C. Gallet, F. Domine, and M. Dumont
The Cryosphere, 8, 1139–1148,
C. M. Carmagnola, S. Morin, M. Lafaysse, F. Domine, B. Lesaffre, Y. Lejeune, G. Picard, and L. Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 8, 417–437,
A. C. Adolph and M. R. Albert
The Cryosphere, 8, 319–328,
F. Domine, S. Morin, E. Brun, M. Lafaysse, and C. M. Carmagnola
The Cryosphere, 7, 1915–1929,
Q. Libois, G. Picard, J. L. France, L. Arnaud, M. Dumont, C. M. Carmagnola, and M. D. King
The Cryosphere, 7, 1803–1818,
H. Löwe, F. Riche, and M. Schneebeli
The Cryosphere, 7, 1473–1480,
I. Reiweger and J. Schweizer
The Cryosphere, 7, 1447–1453,
F. Riche and M. Schneebeli
The Cryosphere, 7, 217–227,
B. R. Pinzer, M. Schneebeli, and T. U. Kaempfer
The Cryosphere, 6, 1141–1155,
N. Calonne, C. Geindreau, F. Flin, S. Morin, B. Lesaffre, S. Rolland du Roscoat, and P. Charrier
The Cryosphere, 6, 939–951,
J.-C. Gallet, F. Domine, L. Arnaud, G. Picard, and J. Savarino
The Cryosphere, 5, 631–649,
T. Vihma, O.-P. Mattila, R. Pirazzini, and M. M. Johansson
The Cryosphere, 5, 187–201,
H.-W. Jacobi, F. Domine, W. R. Simpson, T. A. Douglas, and M. Sturm
The Cryosphere, 4, 35–51,
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