Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1237
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1237
13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Multi-physics ensemble modelling of Arctic tundra snowpack properties

Georgina Jean Woolley, Nick Rutter, Leanne Wake, Vincent Vionnet, Chris Derksen, Richard Essery, Philip Marsh, Rosamund Tutton, Branden Walker, Matthieu Lafaysse, and David Pritchard

Abstract. Sophisticated snowpack models such as Crocus and SNOWPACK struggle to properly simulate profiles of density and specific surface area (SSA) within Arctic snowpacks due to an underestimation of wind-induced compaction, misrepresentation of basal vegetation influencing compaction and metamorphism, and omission of water vapour flux transport. To improve the simulation of profiles of density and SSA, parameterisations of snow physical processes that consider the effect of high wind speeds, the presence of basal vegetation and alternate thermal conductivity formulations were implemented into an ensemble version of the Soil, Vegetation and Snow version 2 (SVS2-Crocus) land surface model, creating Arctic SVS2-Crocus. The ensemble versions of default and Arctic SVS2-Crocus were driven with in-situ meteorological data and evaluated using measurements of snowpack properties (SWE, depth, density and SSA) at Trail Valley Creek (TVC), Northwest Territories, Canada over 32-years (1991–2023). Results show that both default and Arctic SVS2-Crocus can simulate the correct magnitude of SWE (RMSE for both ensembles: 55 kg m-2) and snow depth (default RMSE: 0.22 m; Arctic RMSE: 0.18 m) at TVC in comparison to measurements. Wind-induced compaction within Arctic SVS2-Crocus effectively compacts the surface layers of the snowpack, increasing the density, and reducing the RMSE by 41 % (176 kg m-3 to 103 kg m-3). Parameterisations of basal vegetation are less effective in reducing compaction of basal snow layers (default RMSE: 67 kg m-3; Arctic RMSE: 65 kg m-3), reaffirming the need to consider water vapour flux transport for simulation of low-density basal layers. The top 100 ensemble members of Arctic SVS2-Crocus produced lower continuous ranked probability scores (CRPS) than default SVS2-Crocus when simulating snow density profiles. The top performing members of the Arctic SVS2-Crocus ensemble featured modifications that raise wind speeds to increase compaction in snow surface layers and prevent snowdrift and increase viscosity in basal layers. Selecting these process representations in Arctic SVS2-Crocus will improve simulation of snow density profiles, which is crucial for many applications.

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Georgina Jean Woolley, Nick Rutter, Leanne Wake, Vincent Vionnet, Chris Derksen, Richard Essery, Philip Marsh, Rosamund Tutton, Branden Walker, Matthieu Lafaysse, and David Pritchard

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Georgina Jean Woolley, Nick Rutter, Leanne Wake, Vincent Vionnet, Chris Derksen, Richard Essery, Philip Marsh, Rosamund Tutton, Branden Walker, Matthieu Lafaysse, and David Pritchard

Data sets

Arctic_SVS2-Crocus Georgina Woolley https://github.com/georginawoolley/Arctic_SVS2-Crocus.git

Arctic SVS2-Crocus Ensemble Output Georgina Woolley https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.25639215.v2

Model code and software

MESH_SVS/Arctic_Mods1 Georgina Woolley and Vincent Vionnet https://github.com/VVionnet/MESH_SVS/tree/Arctic_Mods1

Georgina Jean Woolley, Nick Rutter, Leanne Wake, Vincent Vionnet, Chris Derksen, Richard Essery, Philip Marsh, Rosamund Tutton, Branden Walker, Matthieu Lafaysse, and David Pritchard

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Short summary
Parameterisations of Arctic snow processes were implemented into the multi-physics ensemble version of SVS2-Crocus and evaluated using density and SSA measurements at an Arctic tundra site. Optimal combinations of parameterisations that improved the simulation of density and SSA were identified. Top performing ensemble members featured modifications that raise wind speeds to increase compaction in surface layers, prevent snowdrift and increase viscosity in basal layers.