S204 Preliminary Results on Measuring Snow Accumulation and Sublimation at Alexander Tall Tower in Antarctica

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ellie Fajer, NCAR, BOULDER, CO; and S. D. Landolt

Snowfall observations in Antarctica have historically proven to be difficult due to the relatively light accumulation amounts, extremely cold temperatures, and strong winds that can occur during storms. A new joint project between the University of Colorado (CU) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), funded by the National Science Foundation, is addressing this issue by utilizing the latest in precipitation sensing technology. Wind-shielded precipitation gauges and other sensors that measure particle size, snow height, and wind speeds have been installed at four sites near McMurdo, Antarctica. One of these sites is co-located with the flux tower at Alexander Tall Tower (about 100 miles east of McMurdo Station). A preliminary analysis of the data from the Alexander Tall Tower site will be presented, with a focus on falling versus blowing snow events and snowfall sublimation rates. The results of this study are expected to improve our understanding of snow accumulation in Antarctica and will help advance climate models and their predictions of deglaciation and ultimately rising sea levels.
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