Measurements and model calculations of the solar shortwave fluxes in snow on Summit, Greenland

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Solar shortwave (SW) radiation is a primary energy source for the snow cover. Accurate measurements of the radiation energy balance in snow are not yet available over a broad spectral band. For accurate measurements in snow, sources of errors have to be eliminated such as the temperature dependence of some sensors, investigating a disturbed snow cover or neglecting the variation of the incoming radiation. The objective of our investigation is to measure the spectral SW energy balance in and above snow and to validate a radiation transfer model against the data. In July 2002 up- and downwelling fluxes at several heights in snow were measured on Summit, Greenland, with a spectrometer sensitive in the 340–1050 nm spectral band. Changing incoming solar radiation was accounted for by using two sensor heads. The resulting data are compared to the –Eddington model of radiative transfer in combination with Mie single-scattering calculations. Using as input the snow data obtained by weekly snow profiles, a good agreement between measured and modelled radiative fluxes was obtained when increasing the absorption in the snow grains which is justified by snow impurities. In the near-infrared a disagreement between model and measurements is obvious. This is most likely caused by non-sphericity of the snow grains.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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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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