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On the saltation of fresh snow in a wind tunnel: Profile characterization and single particle statistics

Guala, M. and Manes, C. and Clifton, A. and Lehning, M. (2008) On the saltation of fresh snow in a wind tunnel: Profile characterization and single particle statistics. Journal of Geophysical Research F, 113 . Art. No. F03024. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2007JF000975.

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We present experimental results on the snow drift in a turbulent boundary layer over a flat fresh snow-covered surface. Vertical profiles of mass flux and of the distribution of particle diameters were obtained by means of a pair of Snow Particle Counters parallel with measurements of the stream-wise velocity profile. The aim of the paper is to discuss current parameterizations of the vertical mass flux profile for fresh snow and to investigate the range of timescales involved in a developing saltation layer occurring in a turbulent boundary layer. The novelty of the work consists of using an intact fresh snow cover as an erodible surface able to provide realistic snow crystals as drifting particles. Results show that (1) the parameters scaling the vertical mass flux profiles of fresh snow can significantly differ from those given in the literature for ice or compacted snow particles; (2) though drifting snow covers an extremely wide range of temporal scales, the mean time interval between saltating particles 〈Δt 〉 is the key timescale of the saltation process; (3)〈Δt〉 allows for the optimal reconstruction of the mass flux as a continuous signal and for neglecting the effects related to the heterogeneous distribution of particle size on the mass flux. Implications on the modeling of snow drift and on the processing of field observations are discussed.

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Additional Information:Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 24 December 2007; accepted 15 July 2008; published 11 September 2008. We wish to thank K. Nishimura and Niigata Company for their help and support in the mutual calibration of the two SPCs, J.D. Ruedi for his help in the setup of the wind tunnel experiment, and Keld R. Rasmussen and Richard Bintania for useful discussions. We also acknowledge funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation.
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Swiss National Science FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:saltation; snow; boundary layer
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:GUAjgrf08
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Official Citation:Guala, M., C. Manes, A. Clifton, and M. Lehning (2008), On the saltation of fresh snow in a wind tunnel: Profile characterization and single particle statistics, J. Geophys. Res., 113, F03024, doi:10.1029/2007JF000975.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11957
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:14 Oct 2008 01:13
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:23

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