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Snow/atmosphere coupled simulation at Dome C, Antarctica

  • Eric Brun (a1), Delphine Six (a2), Ghislain Picard (a2), Vincent Vionnet (a1), Laurent Arnaud (a2), Eric Bazile (a1), Aaron Boone (a1), Aurélie Bouchard (a1), Christophe Genthon (a2), Vincent Guidard (a1), Patrick Le Moigne (a1), Florence Rabier (a1) and Yann Seity (a1)...


Using a snow/atmosphere coupled model, the evolution of the surface and near-surface snow temperature is modeled at Dome C, Antarctica, during the period 20–30 January 2010. Firstly, the detailed multilayer snow model Crocus is run in stand-alone mode, with meteorological input forcing data provided by local meteorological observations. The snow model is able to simulate the evolution of surface temperature with good accuracy. It reproduces the observed downward propagation of the diurnal heatwave into the upper 50 cm of the snowpack reasonably well. Secondly, a fully coupled 3-D snow/atmosphere simulation is performed with the AROME regional meteorological model, for which the standard single-layer snow parameterization is replaced by Crocus. In spite of a poor simulation of clouds, the surface and near-surface snow temperatures are correctly simulated, showing neither significant bias nor drifts during the simulation period. The model reproduces particularly well the average decrease of the diurnal amplitude of air temperature from the surface to the top of the 45 m instrumented tower. This study highlights the potential of snow/atmosphere coupled models over the Antarctic plateau and the need to improve cloud microphysics and data assimilation over polar regions.

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