07 Feb 2023
 | 07 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Brief Communication: Effects of different saturation vapor pressure calculations on simulated surface-subsurface hydrothermal regimes at a permafrost field site

Xiang Huang, Charles J. Abolt, and Katrina E. Bennett

Abstract. Air saturation vapor pressure (SVP) can be calculated using different formulas, with or without over-ice correction. These different approaches result in variability that affects the simulation of surface-subsurface thermal-hydrological processes in cold regions; however, this topic has not been well documented to date. In this study, we compared the relative humidity (RH) downloaded and calculated from four data sources in Alaska based on five commonly used SVP formulas. RH, along with other meteorological indicators, was used to drive physically-based land surface models. Results show that RH is a sensitive parameter, and its biases from SVP with or without over-ice correction meaningfully impact model-based predictions of snow depth, sublimation, soil temperature, and active layer thickness.

Xiang Huang et al.

Status: open (until 04 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2023-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2023-8', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2023 reply

Xiang Huang et al.

Xiang Huang et al.


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Short summary
Near-surface humidity is a sensitive parameter for predicting snow depth. Greater values of the relative humidity are obtained if the saturation vapor pressure was calculated with over-ice correction compared to without during the winter. During the summer thawing period, the choice of whether or not to employ an over-ice correction corresponds to significant variability in simulated thaw depths.