Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2349
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2349
02 Jan 2024
 | 02 Jan 2024

Modeling the effect of free convection on permafrost melting-rates in frozen rock-clefts

Amir Sedaghatkish, Frédéric Doumenc, Pierre-Yves Jeannin, and Marc Luetscher

Abstract. Fully coupled heat transfer modeling during the thawing of frozen rock clefts yields melting rates that differ from those predicted by conventional conduction-based models. This research develops a conceptual model of a karst system subject to mountain permafrost supported by a numerical simulation incorporating free water convection. The numerical simulations rely on the apparent heat capacity method and the Darcy approach for energy and momentum equations. Notably, the anomalous behavior of water between 0 and 4 ℃ causes warmer meltwater to flow downwards, increasing the melting rate by approximately an order of magnitude as compared to conventional models that disregard free convection. The model outcomes are compared qualitatively with field data from Monlesi ice cave (Switzerland) and confirm the close agreement between the proposed model and real-world observations.

Amir Sedaghatkish, Frédéric Doumenc, Pierre-Yves Jeannin, and Marc Luetscher

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2349', Wenbing Yu, 04 Jan 2024
    • CC2: 'Reply on CC1', Marc Luetscher, 10 Jan 2024
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2349', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2349', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Jan 2024
Amir Sedaghatkish, Frédéric Doumenc, Pierre-Yves Jeannin, and Marc Luetscher

Video supplement

Modeling the effect of free convection on permafrost melting-rates in frozen rock-clefts Amir Sedaghatkish and Marc Luetscher https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8435167

Amir Sedaghatkish, Frédéric Doumenc, Pierre-Yves Jeannin, and Marc Luetscher

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Short summary
We developed a model to simulate the natural convection of water within frozen rock crevices subject to daily warming in mountain permafrost regions. Traditional models relying on conduction and latent heat flux typically overlook the free convection. The results reveal that free convection can significantly accelerate the melting rate by an order of magnitude higher than conduction-based models. Our results are important for assessing the impact of climate change on mountain infrastructures.