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How are turbulent sensible heat fluxes and snow melt rates affected by a changing snow cover fraction?

Schlögl, S.; Lehning, M.; Mott, R. 1,2
1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


The complex interaction between the atmospheric boundary layer and the heterogeneous land surface is typically not resolved in numerical models approximating the turbulent heat exchange processes. In this study, we consider the effect of the land surface heterogeneity on the spatial variability of near-surface air temperature fields and on snow melt processes. For this purpose we calculated turbulent sensible heat fluxes and daily snow depth depletion rates with the physics-based surface process model Alpine3D. To account for the effect of a heterogeneous land surface (such as patchy snow covers) on the local energy balance over snow, Alpine3D is driven by twodimensional atmospheric fields of air temperature and wind velocity, generated with the non-hydrostatic atmospheric model Advanced Regional Prediction System. The atmospheric model is initialized with a set of snow distributions [snow cover fraction (SCF) and number of snow patches] and atmospheric conditions (wind velocities) for an idealized flat test site. Numerical results show that the feedback of the heterogeneity of the land surface (snow, no snow) on the near-surface variability of the atmospheric fields result in a significant increase in the mean air temperature ΔTa = 1.8 K (3.7 and 4.9 K) as the SCF is decreased from a continuous snow cover to 55% (25 and 5%). ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000088430
Veröffentlicht am 17.12.2018
DOI: 10.3389/feart.2018.00154
Zitationen: 23
Web of Science
Zitationen: 21
Zitationen: 24
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2018
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2296-6463
KITopen-ID: 1000088430
HGF-Programm 12.02.03 (POF III, LK 01) Regional Climate-and Water Cycle Variab.
Erschienen in Frontiers in Earth Science
Verlag Frontiers Media SA
Band 6
Seiten Art. Nr.: 154
Schlagwörter ARPS, heat advection, patchy snow covers, sensible heat flux, temperature footprint approach
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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