Snow - Ice

Increasingly the role of snow and ice (permafrost and glaciers) in ESMs is recognized as a dominate variable in the regulation of energy and chemical exchanges at global and local scales through modulation of albedo, insulating cover, and providing an exchange surface for chemistry.

Engabreen, part of Svartisen, Norway, taken from Holandsfjorden. Photo: Nils Roar Sælthun

Engabreen, part of Svartisen, Norway, taken from Holandsfjorden. Photo: Nils Roar Sælthun

About Snow - Ice

The LATICE group aims to enable refinement of current snow parameterizations in land-surface models with the intention to develop new more efficient physical or hybrid statistical representations of snow distribution.

Two areas of specific interest are:

  • Snow hydrology

In order to develop new snow parameterizations, better measurements of the evolution of snow packs, including changes in stratigraphy and the overall snow water equivalence are required. Snow also is a critical store of water throughout the year.

Through the LATICE research on snow we will seek novel methods for calibrating hydrologic models that treat the snow pack equally to discharge.

  • Snow distribution and permafrost/carbon dynamics

Variability in snow cover drives feedbacks on biogeochemical cycles. A LATICE objective is the characterization of snow distribution in ESMs, and to explore sensitivity of permafrost distribution in order to evaluate impacts to carbon turnover (GHG emissions) within the ESMs.

Sensor deployment
Deployment of snow depth sensors and snow radar at Finse, November 2017. Photo: Ørjan Kristoffer Søderblom
  • Water isotopes

LATICE collaborates with the SNOWPACE project to investigate stable water isotopes. Stable isotopes in water is parameter used to investigate a number of different topics, and snow is especially useful for this as it acts like a pseudo-sediment which can be sampled. However, natural processes such as warming, re-freezing, rain-on-snow and wind can disturb this signal. By making use of the sensor measurement suite at Finse, the goal is to untangle the isotopic signal of the snow pack in order for values of a given snow sample to be traced back to when it fell.


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Published Aug. 7, 2015 11:41 AM - Last modified June 20, 2022 12:36 PM