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Estimation of Needleleaf Canopy and Trunk Temperatures and Longwave Contribution to Melting Snow

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  • 1 Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Abstract

A measurement and modeling campaign evaluated variations in tree temperatures with solar exposure at the edge of a forest clearing and how the resulting longwave radiation contributed to spatial patterns of snowmelt energy surrounding an individual tree. Compared to measurements, both a one-dimensional (1D) energy-balance model and a two-dimensional (2D) radial trunk heat transfer model that simulated trunk surface temperatures and thermal inertia performed well (RMSE and biases better than 1.7° and ±0.4°C). The 2D model that resolved a thin bark layer better simulated daytime temperature spikes. Measurements and models agreed that trunk surfaces returned to ambient air temperature values near sunset. Canopy needle temperatures modeled with a 1D energy-balance approach were within the range of measurements. The radiative transfer model simulated substantial tree-contributed snow surface longwave irradiance to a distance of approximately one-half the tree height, with higher values on the sun-exposed sides of the tree. Trunks had very localized and substantially lower longwave energy influence on snowmelt compared to that of the canopy. The temperature and radiative transfer models provide the spatially detailed information needed to develop scaling relationships for estimating net radiation for snowmelt in sparse and discontinuous forest canopies.

Current affiliation: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (http://www.ametsoc.org/PUBSCopyrightPolicy).

Corresponding author e-mail: K. N. Musselman, kmussel@ucar.edu

Abstract

A measurement and modeling campaign evaluated variations in tree temperatures with solar exposure at the edge of a forest clearing and how the resulting longwave radiation contributed to spatial patterns of snowmelt energy surrounding an individual tree. Compared to measurements, both a one-dimensional (1D) energy-balance model and a two-dimensional (2D) radial trunk heat transfer model that simulated trunk surface temperatures and thermal inertia performed well (RMSE and biases better than 1.7° and ±0.4°C). The 2D model that resolved a thin bark layer better simulated daytime temperature spikes. Measurements and models agreed that trunk surfaces returned to ambient air temperature values near sunset. Canopy needle temperatures modeled with a 1D energy-balance approach were within the range of measurements. The radiative transfer model simulated substantial tree-contributed snow surface longwave irradiance to a distance of approximately one-half the tree height, with higher values on the sun-exposed sides of the tree. Trunks had very localized and substantially lower longwave energy influence on snowmelt compared to that of the canopy. The temperature and radiative transfer models provide the spatially detailed information needed to develop scaling relationships for estimating net radiation for snowmelt in sparse and discontinuous forest canopies.

Current affiliation: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (http://www.ametsoc.org/PUBSCopyrightPolicy).

Corresponding author e-mail: K. N. Musselman, kmussel@ucar.edu
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