Measurements and one-dimensional model calculations of snow transport over a mountain ridge
Abstract:Wind transport of snow can cause an additional snow load on leeward slopes, which often has a considerable influence on avalanche danger. For a quantitative assessment of this process, a model is proposed which calculates the snow transport over a two-dimensional mountain ridge, based on input measurements of wind speed and precipitation. Since the topography is idealized, the model is focused on the snow mass that is transported over the ridge, and no statements are made about the exact snow distribution over the slopes. Three transport modes are distinguished: snow transport in saltation, snow transport in suspension, and preferential deposition of precipitation. Suspension is modelled with a one-dimensional diffusion equation, and for the saltation layer a newly developed model, based on the microscale physical processes, is implemented. The effect of speed-up of the wind over the ridge is included by assuming an analytical wind profile with a maximum wind speed at a few meters above the ridge. Advective effects are taken into account in a parameterization of the turbulent shear stress profile. The model is compared with measurements taken at the experimental snowdrift site Gaudergrat in the Parsenn area, Switzerland, and good agreement is obtained between calculated and measured results.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2001
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