Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems

Noah P. Molotch, Peter D. Blanken, Mark W. Williams, Andrew A. Turnipseed, Russell Monson, Steven A. Margulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Direct measurements of winter water loss due to sublimation were made in a sub-alpine forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Above-and below-canopy eddy covariance systems indicated substantial losses of winter-season snow accumulation in the form of snowpack (0.41 mm d-1) and intercepted snow (0.71 mm d-1) sublimation. The partitioning between these over and under story components of water loss was highly dependent on atmospheric conditions and near-surface conditions at and below the snow/atmosphere interface. High above-canopy sensible heat fluxes lead to strong temperature gradients between vegetation and the snow-surface, driving substantial specific humidity gradients at the snow surface and high sublimation rates. Intercepted snowfall resulted in rapid response of above-canopy latent heat fluxes, high within-canopy sublimation rates (maximum = 3.7 mm d-1), and diminished sub-canopy snowpack sublimation. These results indicate that sublimation losses from the sub-canopy snowpack are strongly dependent on the partitioning of sensible and latent heat fluxes in the canopy. This compels comprehensive studies of snow sublimation in forested regions that integrate sub-canopy and over-story processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1575
Number of pages9
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sublimation
eddy covariance
snow
canopy
snowpack
latent heat flux
sensible heat flux
partitioning
snow accumulation
winter
temperature gradient
humidity
water
mountain
loss
atmosphere
vegetation

Keywords

  • Eddy covariance
  • Rocky mountains
  • Snow interception
  • Sublimation
  • Vegetation canopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Molotch, N. P., Blanken, P. D., Williams, M. W., Turnipseed, A. A., Monson, R., & Margulis, S. A. (2007). Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems. Hydrological Processes, 21(12), 1567-1575. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.6719

Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems. / Molotch, Noah P.; Blanken, Peter D.; Williams, Mark W.; Turnipseed, Andrew A.; Monson, Russell; Margulis, Steven A.

In: Hydrological Processes, Vol. 21, No. 12, 15.06.2007, p. 1567-1575.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Molotch, NP, Blanken, PD, Williams, MW, Turnipseed, AA, Monson, R & Margulis, SA 2007, 'Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems', Hydrological Processes, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 1567-1575. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.6719
Molotch, Noah P. ; Blanken, Peter D. ; Williams, Mark W. ; Turnipseed, Andrew A. ; Monson, Russell ; Margulis, Steven A. / Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems. In: Hydrological Processes. 2007 ; Vol. 21, No. 12. pp. 1567-1575.
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