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Present weather-sensor tests for measuring drifting snow

  • Hervé Bellot (a1), Alexandre Trouvilliez (a1) (a2), Florence Naaim-Bouvet (a1), Christophe Genthon (a2) and Hubert Gallée (a2)...

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In Antarctica, blowing snow accounts for a major component of the surface mass balance near the coast. Measurements of precipitation and blowing snow are scarce, and therefore collected data would allow testing of numerical models of mass flux over this region. A present weather station (PWS), Biral VPF730, was set up on the coast at Cap Prud’homme station, 5 km from Dumont d’Urville (DDU), principally to quantify precipitation. Since we expected to be able to determine blowing-snow fluxes from the PWS data, we tested this device first on our experimental site, the Lac Blanc pass. An empirical calibration was made with a snow particle counter. Although the physics of the phenomenon was not well captured, the flux outputs were better than those from FlowCapts. The first data from Antarctica were reanalyzed. The new calibration seems to be accurate for estimating the high blowing-snow flux with an interrogation of the precipitation effects.

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References

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Mellor, M. and Radok, U.. 1960. Some properties of drifting snow. In Antarctic Meteorology: proceedings of the symposium held in Melbourne, February 1959. Oxford, Pergamon Press, 333–346.
Naaim-Bouvet, F., Bellot, H. and Naaim, M.. 2010. Back analysis of drifting-snow measurements over an instrumented mountainous site. Ann. Glaciol., 51(54), 207–217.
Takahashi, S. 1985. Characteristics of drifting snow at Mizuho Station, Antarctica. Ann. Glaciol., 6, 71–75.

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