UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Inferring snowpack ripening and melt-out from distributed measurements of near-surface ground temperatures


Schmid, M O; Gubler, Stefanie; Fiddes, J; Gruber, Stephan (2012). Inferring snowpack ripening and melt-out from distributed measurements of near-surface ground temperatures. The Cryosphere, 6(5):1127-1139.

Abstract

Seasonal snow cover and its melt regime are heterogeneous both in time and space. Describing and modelling this variability is important because it affects diverse phenomena such as runoff, ground temperatures or slope movements. This study presents the derivation of melting characteristics based on spatial clusters of ground surface temperature (GST) measurements. Results are based on data from Switzerland where ground surface temperatures were measured with miniature loggers (iButtons) at 40 locations referred to as footprints. At each footprint, up to ten iButtons have been distributed randomly over an area of 10 m × 10 m, placed a few cm below the ground surface. Footprints span elevations of 2100–3300 m a.s.l. and slope angles of 0–55◦, as well as diverse slope expositions and types of surface cover and ground material. Based on two years of temperature data, the basal ripening date and the melt-out date are determined for each iButton, aggregated to the footprint level and further analysed. The melt-out date could be derived for nearly all iButtons; the ripening date could be extracted for only approximately half of them because its detection based on GST requires ground freezing below the snowpack. The variability within a footprint is often considerable and one to three weeks difference between melting or ripening of the points in one footprint is not uncommon. The correlation of mean annual ground surface temperatures, ripening date and melt-out date is moderate, suggesting that these metrics are useful for model evaluation.

Abstract

Seasonal snow cover and its melt regime are heterogeneous both in time and space. Describing and modelling this variability is important because it affects diverse phenomena such as runoff, ground temperatures or slope movements. This study presents the derivation of melting characteristics based on spatial clusters of ground surface temperature (GST) measurements. Results are based on data from Switzerland where ground surface temperatures were measured with miniature loggers (iButtons) at 40 locations referred to as footprints. At each footprint, up to ten iButtons have been distributed randomly over an area of 10 m × 10 m, placed a few cm below the ground surface. Footprints span elevations of 2100–3300 m a.s.l. and slope angles of 0–55◦, as well as diverse slope expositions and types of surface cover and ground material. Based on two years of temperature data, the basal ripening date and the melt-out date are determined for each iButton, aggregated to the footprint level and further analysed. The melt-out date could be derived for nearly all iButtons; the ripening date could be extracted for only approximately half of them because its detection based on GST requires ground freezing below the snowpack. The variability within a footprint is often considerable and one to three weeks difference between melting or ripening of the points in one footprint is not uncommon. The correlation of mean annual ground surface temperatures, ripening date and melt-out date is moderate, suggesting that these metrics are useful for model evaluation.

Citations

14 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

72 downloads since deposited on 09 Nov 2012
15 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:09 Nov 2012 10:37
Last Modified:21 Nov 2016 08:11
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1994-0416
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-6-1127-2012

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 694kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations