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Title: The distribution of ten-meter snow temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet
Authors: Mock, S. J.
Weeks, W. F.
Keywords: Snow
Snow surveys
Snow thermal properties
Snow temperature
Air temperature
Ice sheet
Ice cap
Contour maps
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 170.
Description: Research Report
Summary: All available 10-meter snow temperatures from the Greenland ice sheet have been collected and analyzed using multiple regression techniques to develop equations capable of accurately predicting these temperatures. The analysis was carried out for north Greenland; for two sub-areas of north Greenland, the Thule Peninsula and the dry snow facies; for south Greenland; and for all Greenland. The resulting equations show that 10-meter snow temperatures in north Greenland and its sub-areas can be accurately predicted from the independent parameters latitude and elevation. Longitude was found to be another significant parameter in south Greenland. In all cases the values of the multiple correlation coefficients were .928 or greater. It is known that 10-meter snow temperatures in the dry snow facies are close approximations of the mean annual air temperature. Gradients of 10-meter snow temperatures vs elevation for north Greenland are close to the dry adiabatic lapse rate, indicating adiabatic warming of katabatic winds as the controlling mechanism in the altitudinal distribution of both mean annual air temperatures and 10-meter snow temperatures in dry snow. This is further substantiated by climatic records from two ice sheet stations at 77° North latitude. In both south Greenland and the Thule Peninsula gradients of 10-meter snow temperatures vs elevation are markedly greater than the dry adiabatic lapse rate and are highly dependent upon elevation. This is indicative of downward transfer of latent heat in the snow, largely as the result of percolating melt water. Isotherms calculated from the dry snow facies data of north Greenland invariably predict 10-meter snow temperatures that are warmer than the observed values in south Greenland. This suggests that south Greenland is colder with respect to its latitude and longitude than north Greenland. An isotherm contour map showing the distribution of 10-meter snow temperatures on the Greenland ice sheet calculated from the prediction equations was prepared. The map is based, in part, upon a revised contour map of the ice sheet made from a compilation of all known elevations. A tabulation of the elevations and sources as well as brief studies of Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land in the Antarctic, are included.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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