testing_and_application_of_a_model_for_snow_redistribution_snowblow_in_the_ellsworth_mountains_antarctica.pdf (1.67 MB)
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Testing and application of a model for snow redistribution (Snow_Blow) in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica

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posted on 20.08.2019 by Stephanie Mills, Anne Le Brocq, Kate Winter, Michael Smith, John Hillier, Ekaterina Ardakova, Clare Boston, David Sugden, John Woodward
Wind-driven snow redistribution can increase the spatial heterogeneity of snow accumulation on ice caps and ice sheets, and may prove crucial for the initiation and survival of glaciers in areas of marginal glaciation. We present a snowdrift model (Snow_Blow), which extends and improves the model of Purves et al. (1999). The model calculates spatial variations in relative snow accumulation that result from variations in topography, using a digital elevation model (DEM) and wind direction as inputs. Improvements include snow redistribution using a flux routing algorithm, DEM resolution independence and the addition of a slope curvature component. This paper tests Snow_Blow in Antarctica (a modern environment) and reveals its potential for application in palaeo-environmental settings, where input meteorological data are unavailable and difficult to estimate. Specifically, Snow_Blow is applied to the Ellsworth Mountains in West Antarctica where ablation is considered to be predominantly related to wind erosion processes. We find that Snow_Blow is able to replicate well the existing distribution of accumulating snow and snow erosion as recorded in and around Blue Ice Areas. Lastly, a variety of model parameters are tested, including depositional distance and erosion vs wind speed, to provide the most likely input parameters for palaeo-environmental reconstructions.

Funding

Kingston University

UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) standard grants NE/I027576/1 and NE/I025263/1

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Journal of Glaciology

Volume

65

Issue

254

Pages

957 - 970

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Acceptance date

18/08/2019

Publication date

2019-10-07

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0022-1430

eISSN

1727-5652

Language

en

Depositor

Dr John Hillier

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