3.7 Two Years of Remote and Autonomous Measurements of Precipitation for the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Monday, 13 January 2020: 3:30 PM
203 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Mark W. Seefeldt, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and S. D. Landolt and T. Low

Four low-power, autonomous Antarctic Precipitation Systems (APSs) were installed on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica for year-round in situ measurement of precipitation. The APS sites were installed in December 2017 as a part of the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) and removed in November 2019. The liquid water equivalent precipitation was measured using an Ott Pluvio2 weighing precipitation gauge installed inside a double Alter-style wind shield. Supplemental measurements, such as snow height, wind speed, particle counts and size distributions, and videos, were also included at the APS sites to provide supporting observations. The APSs are providing a “ground truth” in understanding precipitation and snow accumulation in Antarctica. This presentation will cover the configuration of the instrument systems, the performance of the instruments in the Antarctic environment, and lessons learned from the deployment. A brief review of some of the key results will be shared to demonstrate the significance and further benefit of remote and autonomous measurements of precipitation in Antarctica. This review will include: a comparison of precipitation accumulation and changes in snow height during events with varying wind conditions, a comparison of snow height measurements with a sonic ranging sensor and GPS-Interferometry Reflectivity (GPS-IR), and an evaluation of sublimation rates during the austral summer.
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