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Evaluating the impact of climate on snow- and ice-melt dynamics in the Taillon basin, French Pyrénées

  • David M. Hannah (a1) and Glenn R. McGregor (a1)

Abstract

This pilot study adopts a computer-assisted synoptic typing methodology to evaluate the totality of climatic influences on snow- and ice-melt dynamics within a small cirque basin in the French Pyrénées. The synoptic categories identified possess contrasting large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns and surface energy budgets which generate differential ablation responses. Continental air masses yield consistently high melt. Advection of moist maritime air also produces elevated but more variable ablation due to air-mass transitions. The two observed local valley circulation types show melt to be higher under nocturnal katabatic drainage than for anabatic wind flows associated with development of daytime ridge-top cumulus.

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References

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