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TC | Volume 12, issue 11
The Cryosphere, 12, 3693–3717, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3693-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in...

The Cryosphere, 12, 3693–3717, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-3693-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Nov 2018

Research article | 27 Nov 2018

Observation and modelling of snow at a polygonal tundra permafrost site: spatial variability and thermal implications

Isabelle Gouttevin et al.
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Revised manuscript under review for TC
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Discipline: Frozen ground | Subject: Numerical Modelling
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Cited articles  
Adams, E. E. and Sato, A.: Model for effective thermal conductivity of a dry snow cover composed of uniform ice spheres, Ann. Glaciol., 18, 300–304, 1993. 
Avis, C. A., Weaver, A. J., and Meissner, K. J.: Reduction in areal extent of high-latitude wetlands in response to permafrost thaw, Nat. Geosci., 4, 444–448, 2011. 
Barrere, M., Domine, F., Decharme, B., Morin, S., Vionnet, V., and Lafaysse, M.: Evaluating the performance of coupled snow–soil models in SURFEXv8 to simulate the permafrost thermal regime at a high Arctic site, Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3461–3479, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-3461-2017, 2017. 
Bartelt, P. and Lehning, M.: A physical SNOWPACK model for the Swiss avalanche warning: Part I: numerical model, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 35, 123–145, 2002. 
Boike, J., Hinzman, L. D., Overduin, P. P., Romanovsky, V., Ippisch, O., and Roth, K.: A comparison of snow melt at three circumpolar sites: Spitsbergen, Siberia, Alaska, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Permafrost, Zurich, Switzerland, 21–25 July 2003, 79–84, 2003. 
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Snow insulates the ground from the cold air in the Arctic winter, majorly affecting permafrost. This insulation depends on snow characteristics and is poorly quantified. Here, we characterize it at a carbon-rich permafrost site, using a recent technique that retrieves the 3-D structure of snow and its thermal properties. We adapt a snowpack model enabling the simulation of this insulation over a whole winter. We estimate that local snow variations induce up to a 6 °C spread in soil temperatures.
Snow insulates the ground from the cold air in the Arctic winter, majorly affecting permafrost....
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