1312A Development of Model Framework for Surface Mass Balance Simulation of Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers and Ice Shelves

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Jing Zhang, North Carolina A&T State Univ., Greensboro, NC; and Y. Yao and R. Hock

Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming regions in the world accompanied by increased glacier melt and retreat, and ice-shelf break-up. These significant changes observed on the Peninsula make it an ideal target for developing a model framework suitable for understanding the continuing impact of climate change on the glaciers and ice shelves. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is adopted for the development of such a framework taking into account of glaciologically important surface processes over the Antarctic Peninsula. In order to properly simulate the surface mass balance of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers and ice-shelves, several glacier-specific improvements to the current version of WRF are needed. In this study, a multilayer snow model is applied to the firn layers to account for the internal melting and refreezing processes and the thermodynamic effects. Snow-air interaction is considered by including the wind effect on the density of new snow and the sublimation induced by snow drift. Snow albedo is determined by the snow grain size, solar zenith angle and cloud optical depth. A blowing snow model is fully coupled with the WRF model, so that snow redistribution, together with the thermodynamic impact of blowing snow sublimation on the boundary layer, can be explicitly calculated. With these improvements, it’s expected to build a model framework to realistically simulate the surface mass balance in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Modeling results will be validated with available weather station observations, surface mass-balance data, and satellite-derived surface melt.
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