Modelling the small-scale deposition of snow onto structured Arctic sea ice during a MOSAiC storm using snowBedFoam 1.0. Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. The remoteness and extreme conditions of the Arctic make it a very difficult environment to investigate. In these regions, the wind has a substantial effect and redistributes a large part of the snow, which complicates precipitation estimates. Moreover, the snow mass balance in the sea ice system is still poorly understood, notably due to the complex structure of its surface. Quantitatively assessing the snow distribution on sea ice and its connection to the sea ice surface features is an important step to remove these uncertainties. In this work we introduce snowBedFoam 1.0., a physics-based snow transport model implemented in the open source fluid dynamics software OpenFOAM. We combine the numerical simulations with terrestrial lidar observations of surface dynamics to simulate snow deposition on a piece of MOSAiC sea ice with a complicated structure typical for pressure ridges. The results demonstrate that a large fraction of snow accumulates in their vicinity, which compares favorably against terrestrial laser scans. However, the approximations imposed by the numerical framework together with potential measurement errors (precipitation) give rise to quantitative inaccuracies. The modelling of snow distribution on sea ice should help to better constrain precipitation estimates and more generally assess and predict snow and ice dynamics in the Arctic.;

publication date

  • August 27, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • September 13, 2021 1:00 AM

Full Author List

  • Hames O; Jafari M; Wagner DN; Raphael I; Clemens-Sewall D; Polashenski C; Shupe MD; Schneebeli M; Lehning M

author count

  • 9

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