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The Snowmelt and Heat Balance in Snow-covered Forested Areas

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  • 1 Geophysical Institute, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
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Abstract

The snowmelt and heat balance in snow-covered formed areas have been studied with the use of a canopy model. It was found that, in general, as the canopy density increased the snowmelt decreased. However, with conditions of high air temperature, weak winds, and large snow albedo, a greater degree of snowmelt occurred under a dense canopy due to infrared radiation from the canopy elements than under a sparse canopy. Although the snow temperature was never higher than 0°C while the air temperature was greater than 0°C, an upward sensible heat flux was supplied from the forest canopy, resulting in the atmospheric heating.

Abstract

The snowmelt and heat balance in snow-covered formed areas have been studied with the use of a canopy model. It was found that, in general, as the canopy density increased the snowmelt decreased. However, with conditions of high air temperature, weak winds, and large snow albedo, a greater degree of snowmelt occurred under a dense canopy due to infrared radiation from the canopy elements than under a sparse canopy. Although the snow temperature was never higher than 0°C while the air temperature was greater than 0°C, an upward sensible heat flux was supplied from the forest canopy, resulting in the atmospheric heating.

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