Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Scales of spatial heterogeneity for perennial and seasonal snow layers

  • Matthew Sturm (a1) and Carl Benson (a2)

Abstract

Local observations of snow layers are used as the basis for spatial extrapolation of snow properties and for establishing a time record of snow deposition, yet significant lateral variations in layer thickness, density and microstructure are well documented. Here we examine the nature of layer heterogeneity over distances of 10– 100 000 m using data from primarily flat locations in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland. We find that at a scale of 10 m or less, perennial snow layers on glaciers and ice sheets are more uniform and laterally continuous than seasonal layers, which, in addition to heterogeneity introduced by wind and water percolation, are also affected by local topography and vegetation. At a scale of about 100 m, heterogeneity of seasonal and perennial snow layers converges and approaches a peak value. At larger scales (103–105m), local (order 100 m) forcing continues to produce most of the layer heterogeneity, with synoptic-scale variations adding small amounts. Cross-correlation at these larger scales is based on recognizing distinctive layer sequences or matching a few key layers of snow. Many layers cannot be correlated because they pinch out or change at scales (i.e. 100 m) smaller than the spacing between snow pits.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Scales of spatial heterogeneity for perennial and seasonal snow layers
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Scales of spatial heterogeneity for perennial and seasonal snow layers
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Scales of spatial heterogeneity for perennial and seasonal snow layers
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
American Geological Institute (AGI). 1960. Dictionary of geological terms. Garden City, NY, Anchor Books.
Benson, C. S. 1962. Stratigraphic studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland ice sheet. SIPRE Res. Rep. 70.
Benson, C. S. 1971. Stratigraphic studies in the snow at Byrd Station, Antarctica, compared with similar studies in Greenland. In Crary, A.P., ed. Antarctic snow and ice studies II. Washington, DC, American Geophysical Union, 333–353. (Antarctic Research Series 16.)
Benson, C. S. and Sturm, M.. 1993. Structure and wind transport of seasonal snow on the Arctic slope of Alaska. Ann. Glaciol., 18, 261–267.
Colbeck, S.C. and 7 others. 1990. The international classification for seasonal snow on the ground. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, International Association of Scientific Hydrology. International Commission on Snow and Ice.
Doumani, G.A. 1967. Surface structures in snow. In Ōura, H., ed. Physics of snow and ice. Vol. 1, Part 2. Sapporo, Hokkaido University. Institute of Low Temperature Science, 1119–1136.
Fahnestock, M.A., Scambos, T. A., Shuman, C.A., Arthern, R. J., Wine-brenner, D. P. and Kwok, R.. 2000. Snow megadune fields on the East Antarctic Plateau: extreme atmosphere–ice interaction. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27(22), 3719–3722.
Frezzotti, M., Gandolfi, S. and Urbini, S.. 2002a. Snow dunes and glazed surfaces in Antarctica: new field and remote-sensing data. Ann. Glaciol., 34, 81–88.
Frezzotti, M., Gandolfi, S., and Urbini, S.. 2002b. Snow megadunes in Antarctica: sedimentary structure and genesis. J. Geophys. Res., 107(D18). (10.1029/2001JD000673.)
Gow, A.J. 1965. On the accumulation and seasonal stratification of snow at the South Pole. J. Glaciol., 5(40), 467–477.
Imbeck, H. 1987. Schneeprofile. In Wald, Schnee und Lawinen im Winter 1985/86. Davos, Eidgenössisches Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung, 177–183.
In der Gand, H. R. 1978. Verteiling und der Schneedecke unter Waldbau-men und im Hochwald. In IUFRO Seminar on Mountain Forests and Avalanches, 1978, Davos, Switzerland. Proceedings. Davos, Eidgenössische Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung, 99–119.
König, M. and Sturm, M.. 1998. Mapping snow distribution in the Alaskan Arctic using aerial photography and topographic relationships. Water Resour. Res., 34(12), 3471–3484.
Kronholm, K., Schweitzer, J and Schneebeli, M.. 2004. Micromechanical properties in snow layers on a small slope. Ann. Glaciol., 38 (see paper in this volume).
Li, S.. and Sturm, M.. 2002. Patterns of wind-drifted snow on the Alaska arctic slope detected with ERS-1 interferometric SAR. J. Glaciol., 48(163), 495–504.
Liston, G. E. and Sturm, M.. 2002. Winter precipitation patterns in arctic Alaska determined from a blowing-snow model and snow-depth observations. Hydrometeorology, 3(6), 646–659.
Olsson, P.Q., Sturm, M., Racine, C. H., Romanovsky, V. and Liston, G.E.. 2003. Five stages of the Alaskan Arctic cold season with ecosystem implications. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 35(1), 74–81.
Orheim, O. 1968. Surface snow metamorphosis on the Antarctic Plateau. Nor. Polarinst. Årbok, 1966, 84–91.
Paterson, W. S. B. 1981. The physics of glaciers. Second edition. Oxford, etc., Pergamon Press.
Sturm, M. 1992. Snow distribution and heat flow in the taiga. Arct. Alp. Res., 24(2), 145–152.
Sturm, M., Holmgren, J. and Liston, G. E.. 1995. A seasonal snow cover classification scheme for local to global applications. J. Climate, 8(5), Part 2, 1261–1283.
Taras, B., Sturm, M. and Liston, G. E.. 2002. Snow–ground interface temperatures in the Kuparuk River basin, Arctic Alaska: measurements and model. Hydrometeorology, 3(4), 377–394.
Weller, G. 1969. The heat and mass balance of snow dunes on the central Antarctic Plateau. J. Glaciol., 8(53), 277–284.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed