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Title: The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland

Abstract

In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmermore » lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y{sup -1}. The annual glacier loss for the two simulations was 50.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} and 64.4 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} for all glaciers - a difference of {approx}21%. The average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for all glaciers in the simulation domain was located at 875 m a.s.l. and at 900 m a.s.l. for simulations with or without inversion routines, respectively.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
  2. COLORADO STATE UNIV.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
971305
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-09-06176; LA-UR-09-6176
Journal ID: ISSN 1558-8424; TRN: US201004%%67
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology; Journal ID: ISSN 1558-8424
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58; ABLATION; ALTITUDE; DISTRIBUTION; GLACIERS; GREENLAND; HEAT EXCHANGERS; MASS BALANCE; PRECIPITATION; SEA LEVEL; SEAS; SIMULATION; SNOW; TEMPERATURE DISTRIBUTION; TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS

Citation Formats

Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, and Liston, Glen. The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, & Liston, Glen. The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland. United States.
Mernild, Sebastian Haugard, and Liston, Glen. 2009. "The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/971305.
@article{osti_971305,
title = {The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland},
author = {Mernild, Sebastian Haugard and Liston, Glen},
abstractNote = {In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmer lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y{sup -1}. The annual glacier loss for the two simulations was 50.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} and 64.4 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3} y{sup -1} for all glaciers - a difference of {approx}21%. The average equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for all glaciers in the simulation domain was located at 875 m a.s.l. and at 900 m a.s.l. for simulations with or without inversion routines, respectively.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/971305}, journal = {Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology},
issn = {1558-8424},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {1}
}