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The influence of the forest on night-time snow surface temperature

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Snow surface temperature (Ts) plays an important role in the formation of surface hoar or near-surface faceted crystals. The goal of this study was to obtain detailed information on Ts in different forest stands near the timberline. The investigations were conducted during clear nights and showed that the snow surface temperature is influenced very strongly by the forest canopy. While the air temperature was very similar on the different experimental sites, Ts was higher in the forest than in the open field; on the south-facing slope the difference between the forest and the open field was 3–4.5°C, and on the north-facing slope approximately 3–7°C. Taking into account that air is 0.7 and tree is 0.94, the incoming radiation (I ↓) for the different experimental sites was calculated by the equation of Brunt (the canopy density was estimated using photographs taken with an 8 mm fish-eye). To calculate Ts, air temperature and averaged values of the net radiation (because the net radiation (I) has only a small range of variation during clear nights) were used. The results show that the calculated values were higher than the measured values (by approximately 2°C). However, a better correlation was found by using lower values of the emissivity (air0.67 and air0.91).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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