Investigating the dynamics of bulk snow density in dry and wet conditions using a one-dimensional model 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
07 Mar 2013
2Department of Geoscience and Engineering – Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
Received: 06 Jun 2012 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 04 Jul 2012Abstract. The snowpack is a complicated multiphase mixture with mechanical, hydraulic,
and thermal properties highly variable during the year in response to
climatic forcings. Bulk density is a macroscopic property of the snowpack
used, together with snow depth, to quantify the water stored. In seasonal
snowpacks, the bulk density is characterized by a strongly non-linear
behaviour due to the occurrence of both dry and wet conditions. In the
literature, bulk snow density estimates are obtained principally with
multiple regressions, and snowpack models have put the attention principally
on the snow depth and snow water equivalent. Here a one-dimensional model for
the temporal dynamics of the snowpack, with particular attention to the bulk
snow density, has been proposed, accounting for both dry and wet conditions.
The model represents the snowpack as a two-constituent mixture: a dry part
including ice structure, and air; and a wet part constituted by liquid
water. It describes the dynamics of three variables: the depth and density of
the dry part and the depth of liquid water. The model has been calibrated and
validated against hourly data registered at three SNOTEL stations, western
US, with mean values of the Nash–Sutcliffe coefficient ≈0.73–0.97
in the validation period.
Revised: 05 Dec 2012 – Accepted: 13 Feb 2013 – Published: 07 Mar 2013
Citation: De Michele, C., Avanzi, F., Ghezzi, A., and Jommi, C.: Investigating the dynamics of bulk snow density in dry and wet conditions using a one-dimensional model, The Cryosphere, 7, 433-444, doi:10.5194/tc-7-433-2013, 2013.