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Modeling the Snow Surface Temperature with a One-layer Energy Balance Snowmelt Model : Volume 10, Issue 12 (10/12/2013)

By You, J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004011621
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 48
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Modeling the Snow Surface Temperature with a One-layer Energy Balance Snowmelt Model : Volume 10, Issue 12 (10/12/2013)  
Author: You, J.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 12
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Tarboton, D. G., Luce, C. H., & You, J. (2013). Modeling the Snow Surface Temperature with a One-layer Energy Balance Snowmelt Model : Volume 10, Issue 12 (10/12/2013). Retrieved from

Description: School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583, USA. \label{sec:abstract} Snow surface temperature is a key control on energy exchanges at the snow surface, particularly net longwave radiation and turbulent energy fluxes. The snow surface temperature is in turn controlled by the balance between various external fluxes and the conductive heat flux, internal to the snowpack. Because of the strong insulating properties of snow, thermal gradients in snow packs are large and nonlinear, a fact that has led many to advocate multiple layer snowmelt models over single layer models. In an effort to keep snowmelt modeling simple and parsimonious, the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) snowmelt model used only one layer but allowed the snow surface temperature to be different from the snow average temperature by using an equilibrium gradient parameterization based on the surface energy balance. Although this procedure was considered an improvement over the ordinary single layer snowmelt models, it still resulted in discrepancies between modeled and measured snowpack energy contents. In this paper we examine the parameterization of snow surface temperature in single layer snowmelt models from the perspective of heat conduction into a semi-infinite medium. We evaluate the equilibrium gradient approach, the force-restore approach, and a modified force-restore approach. In addition, we evaluate a scheme for representing the penetration of a refreezing front in cold periods following melt. We also introduce a method to adjust effective conductivity to account for the presence of ground near to a shallow snow surface. These parameterizations were tested against data from the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, CA, Utah State University experimental farm, UT, and Subnivean snow laboratory at Niwot Ridge, CO. These tests compare modeled and measured snow surface temperature, snow energy content, snow water equivalent, and snowmelt outflow. We found that with these refinements the model is able to better represent the snowpack energy balance and internal energy content while still retaining a parsimonious one layer format.

Modeling the snow surface temperature with a one-layer energy balance snowmelt model

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