Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-769
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-769
25 Mar 2024
 | 25 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Spatiotemporal variation in the specific surface area of surface snow measured along the traverse route from the coast to Dome Fuji, Antarctica

Ryo Inoue, Teruo Aoki, Shuji Fujita, Shun Tsutaki, Hideaki Motoyama, Fumio Nakazawa, and Kenji Kawamura

Abstract. To better understand the surface properties of the Antarctic ice sheet, we measured the specific surface area (SSA) of surface snow during two round-trip traverses between a coastal base near Syowa Station, located 15 km inland from the nearest coast, and Dome Fuji, located 1066 km inland, in East Antarctica from November 2021 to January 2022. Using a handheld integrating sphere snow grain sizer (HISSGraS), which directly measures snow surface without sampling, we collected 215 sets of SSA data, each set comprising measurements from 10 surfaces along a 20 m transect. The measured SSA shows no elevation or temperature dependence between 15 and 500 km from the coast (elevation: 615–3000 m), with a mean and standard deviation of 25 ± 9 m2 kg−1. Beyond this range, SSA increases toward the interior, reaching 45 ± 11 m2 kg−1 between 800 and 1066 km from the coast (3600–3800 m). SSA shows significant variability depending on surface morphologies and short-term meteorological events. For example, (i) glazed surfaces formed by an accumulation hiatus in katabatic wind areas show low SSA (19 ± 4 m2 kg−1), decreasing the mean SSA and increasing SSA variability. (ii) Freshly deposited snow shows high SSA (60–110 m2 kg−1), but the snow deposition is inhibited by snow drifting at wind speeds above 5 m s−1. Our analyses clarified that temperature-dependent snow metamorphism, snowfall frequency, and wind-driven inhibition of snow deposition play crucial roles in the spatial variation of surface snow SSA in the Antarctic inland. The extensive dataset will enable the validation of satellite-derived and model-simulated SSA variations across Antarctica.

Ryo Inoue, Teruo Aoki, Shuji Fujita, Shun Tsutaki, Hideaki Motoyama, Fumio Nakazawa, and Kenji Kawamura

Status: open (until 06 May 2024)

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Ryo Inoue, Teruo Aoki, Shuji Fujita, Shun Tsutaki, Hideaki Motoyama, Fumio Nakazawa, and Kenji Kawamura

Data sets

Specific surface area of surface snow along a traverse route between a coastal base near Syowa Station and Dome Fuji in East Antarctica from November 2021 to January 2022 Ryo Inoue, Teruo Aoki, Shuji Fujita, Shun Tsutaki, Hideaki Motoyama, Fumio Nakazawa, and Kenji Kawamura https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/dataset/A20240308-001

Ryo Inoue, Teruo Aoki, Shuji Fujita, Shun Tsutaki, Hideaki Motoyama, Fumio Nakazawa, and Kenji Kawamura

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Short summary
We measured the snow specific surface area (SSA) at ~2150 surfaces between the coast near Syowa Station and Dome Fuji, East Antarctica, in 2021–2022 summer. The observed SSA less depends on elevation between 15 and 500 km from the coast and increases toward the dome area beyond the range. SSA varies depending on surface morphologies and meteorological events. The spatial variation of SSA can be explained by snow metamorphism, snowfall frequency, and wind-driven inhibition of snow deposition.