On the energy budget of a low-Arctic snowpack

Lackner, Georg ; Domine, Florent ; Nadeau, Daniel F. ; Parent, Annie-Claude ; Anctil, François ; Lafaysse, Matthieu ; Dumont, Marie

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<p align=justify>Arctic landscapes are covered in snow for at least 6 months of the year. The energy balance of the snow cover plays a key role in these environments, influencing the surface albedo, the thermal regime of the permafrost, and other factors. Our goal is to quantify all major heat fluxes above, within, and below a low-Arctic snowpack at a shrub tundra site on the east coast of Hudson Bay in eastern Canada. The study is based on observations from a flux tower that uses the eddy covariance approach and from profiles of temperature and thermal conductivity in the snow and soil. Additionally, we compared the observations with simulations produced using the Crocus snow model. We found that radiative losses due to negative longwave radiation are mostly counterbalanced by the sensible heat flux, whereas the latent heat flux is minimal. At the snow surface, the heat flux into the snow is similar in magnitude to the sensible heat flux. Because the snow cover stores very little heat, the majority of the upward heat flux in the snow is used to cool the soil. Overall, the model was able to reproduce the observed energy balance, but due to the effects of atmospheric stratification, it showed some deficiencies when simulating turbulent heat fluxes at an hourly timescale.</p>
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