Back analysis of drifting-snow measurements over an instrumented mountainous site

Florence Naaim-Bouvet, Hervé Bellot, Mohamed Naaim
2010 Annals of Glaciology  
The NEMO numerical model of drifting snow, whose general outlines are presented in this paper, is based on a physical model for saltation and turbulent diffusion. The model needs a set of input parameters including fall velocity, threshold shear velocity, shear velocity, mass concentration and roughness, which are obtained from empirical formulae and wind speed measured at a given height. To better determine the required field data in an alpine context, our experimental site, Col du Lac Blanc
more » ... 700ma.s.l.), French Alps, was first equipped with one anemometer and blowing-snow acoustic sensors, which proved not to be accurate enough for research purposes in the current state of development even though a new calibration curve was used. We therefore set up a Snow Particle Counter and we returned to the traditional, robust mechanical traps and a 10 m mast with six anemometers, two temperature sensors and a depth sensor to better determine friction velocity and aerodynamic roughness. Based on the studied drifting-snow events we conclude: (1) the proportionality of the aerodynamic roughness to the square of the friction velocity was confirmed, but with a varying proportionality ratio depending on the snowdrift event; (2) values of σsUF were relatively well approximated by empirical formulae from data originating from Antarctica, and (3) snowdrift concentration profiles obtained by Pomeroy's semi-empirical formulae for the saltation layer coupled with a theoretical approach for the diffusion layer overestimated the concentration profiles for the studied blowing-snow event.
doi:10.3189/172756410791386661 fatcat:2pofawq74nbgjgywxkjp6mlk4a