Energy Balance Modeling of Interannual Snow and Ice Storage in High Altitude Region by Dynamic Equilibrium Concept

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Ryan Jeffrey Johnson and Noriaki Ohara, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States
Snow models in the field of hydrologic engineering have barely incorporated the long-term effect of the inter-annual snow storage such as glaciers because the time scale of glacier dynamics is much longer than those of river flow and seasonal snowmelt. This study proposes an appropriate treatment for inland glaciers as systems in dynamic equilibrium that stay constant under a static climate condition. It is supposed that the snow/ice vertical movement from high elevation areas to valleys (lower elevation areas) by means of wind re-distribution, avalanches, and glaciation, may be considered as an equilibrator of the glacier system because it stimulates snow/ice ablation. The implicit physically-based modeling of such a dynamic equilibrium snow system is introduced and discussed for the long-term snow simulation at a regional scale. The developed model has been coupled with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to compute the snow surface energy balance.