18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change
20th Conference on Hydrology


The influence of soil transport processes upon temperature and moisture profiles in a snowpack

Yi-Ching Chung, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and A. W. England

High physical fidelity snow models, like the SNTHERM model developed at the Army's Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), typically use a simple soil model that does not include many of the energy and moisture transport processes common to soils. Our Land Surface Process (LSP), a high physical fidelity soil model, has been combined with the snow pack of SNTHERM, to create the Soil-Snow-Atmosphere Transfer (SSAT) model. Initialized as an alpine late winter snow pack in Colorado and forced by observed weather and downwelling radiance over a 14-day period, SSAT performance for the snow pack differed from SNTHERM by as much as 18% in profile moisture, 3K in profile temperature, 0.13mm in profile grain growth, and 15 cm in snow pack compaction. This suggests that the soil transport processes that have been omitted from snow models like SNTHERM do have an observable influence upon temperature and moisture profiles in overlying snow packs.

Joint Poster Session 1, Land-Atmosphere Interactions (Joint with 18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change and 20th Conference on Hydrology)
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM, Exhibit Hall A2

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