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Statistical properties of fresh snow roughness

Statistical properties of fresh snow roughness
Statistical properties of fresh snow roughness
We present results from a series of experiments in which fresh snow roughness was measured by means of digital photography and analyzed using the random field approach. The aim of the paper is to investigate the scaling properties of fresh-snow-covered surfaces and to capture key roughness length scales which can characterize the surface geometry and the size of the snow crystals. Results from our experiments show the following: (1) fresh snow roughness exhibits two distinguished scaling regimes, one at scales comparable with the crystals size and another one at larger scales; (2) we confirm that the large scales are built up during snowfall and their scaling behavior is consistent with that of Ballistic Deposition (BD) processes; and (3) we suggest that the crossover length scale separating the two scaling regimes effectively defines a representative length scale of the aggregated snow crystals on the surface. The definition of this length scale is independent of the difficulties associated with measuring snow grain sizes by means of standard microscopic analysis of disaggregated crystals. Furthermore it can be obtained from a low-cost and quick experimental procedure. Results from this study provide a plausible justification for the wide scatter of aerodynamic roughness length values encountered in the literature for fresh snow. Moreover, they provide insight on the key roughness length scales which should be used for the modeling of this parameter.
0043-1397
Manes, C.
7d9d5123-4d1b-4760-beff-d82fe0bd0acf
Guala, M.
f5c0d890-4ebc-419e-8fad-00f765277195
Löwe, H.
ecee114b-89b7-4e01-b3ce-e9a765386875
Bartlett, S.J.
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Egli, L.
09f83dba-7788-406c-8035-8bac97be1bc9
Lehning, M.
72ba397f-301c-476f-83b0-d37f7620731e
Manes, C.
7d9d5123-4d1b-4760-beff-d82fe0bd0acf
Guala, M.
f5c0d890-4ebc-419e-8fad-00f765277195
Löwe, H.
ecee114b-89b7-4e01-b3ce-e9a765386875
Bartlett, S.J.
6e10c1a9-5426-4982-9c51-2f3350c50887
Egli, L.
09f83dba-7788-406c-8035-8bac97be1bc9
Lehning, M.
72ba397f-301c-476f-83b0-d37f7620731e

Manes, C., Guala, M., Löwe, H., Bartlett, S.J., Egli, L. and Lehning, M. (2008) Statistical properties of fresh snow roughness. Water Resources Research, 44 (11). (doi:10.1029/2007WR006689).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present results from a series of experiments in which fresh snow roughness was measured by means of digital photography and analyzed using the random field approach. The aim of the paper is to investigate the scaling properties of fresh-snow-covered surfaces and to capture key roughness length scales which can characterize the surface geometry and the size of the snow crystals. Results from our experiments show the following: (1) fresh snow roughness exhibits two distinguished scaling regimes, one at scales comparable with the crystals size and another one at larger scales; (2) we confirm that the large scales are built up during snowfall and their scaling behavior is consistent with that of Ballistic Deposition (BD) processes; and (3) we suggest that the crossover length scale separating the two scaling regimes effectively defines a representative length scale of the aggregated snow crystals on the surface. The definition of this length scale is independent of the difficulties associated with measuring snow grain sizes by means of standard microscopic analysis of disaggregated crystals. Furthermore it can be obtained from a low-cost and quick experimental procedure. Results from this study provide a plausible justification for the wide scatter of aerodynamic roughness length values encountered in the literature for fresh snow. Moreover, they provide insight on the key roughness length scales which should be used for the modeling of this parameter.

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Published date: 7 November 2008
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group

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Local EPrints ID: 204105
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/204105
ISSN: 0043-1397
PURE UUID: 6c2ad3eb-a05d-4c6d-b5a1-13464c08d51e

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Date deposited: 24 Nov 2011 12:07
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 20:21

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