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The firn meltwater retention model intercomparison project (retmip) : evaluation of nine firn models at four weather station sites on the greenland ice sheet

  • Vandecrux, Baptiste Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark - Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
  • Mottram, Ruth Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Langen, Peter L. Department of Environmental Science, iClimate, Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark - Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Fausto, Robert S. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Olesen, Martin Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Stevens, C. Max Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • Verjans, Vincent Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Leeson, Amber Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Ligtenberg, Stefan Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands - Weather Impact, Amersfoort, the Netherlands
  • Munneke, Peter Kuipers Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Marchenko, Sergey Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Pelt, Ward van Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Meyer, Colin R. Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
  • Simonsen, Sebastian B. National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
  • Heilig, Achim Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
  • Samimi, Samira Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Marshall, Shawn Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Machguth, Horst Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • MacFerrin, Michael Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • Niwano, Masashi Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba, 305-0052 Japan
  • Miller, Olivia US Geological Survey, Utah Water Science Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Voss, Clifford I. US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, USA
  • Box, Jason E. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
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    06.11.2020
Published in:
  • The Cryosphere. - 2020, vol. 14, no. 11, p. 3785-3810
English Perennial snow, or firn, covers 80 % of the Greenland ice sheet and has the capacity to retain surface meltwater, influencing the ice sheet mass balance and contribution to sea-level rise. Multilayer firn models are traditionally used to simulate firn processes and estimate meltwater retention. We present, intercompare and evaluate outputs from nine firn models at four sites that represent the ice sheet's dry snow, percolation, ice slab and firn aquifer areas. The models are forced by mass and energy fluxes derived from automatic weather stations and compared to firn density, temperature and meltwater percolation depth observations. Models agree relatively well at the dry- snow site while elsewhere their meltwater infiltration schemes lead to marked differences in simulated firn characteristics. Models accounting for deep meltwater percolation overestimate percolation depth and firn temperature at the percolation and ice slab sites but accurately simulate recharge of the firn aquifer. Models using Darcy's law and bucket schemes compare favorably to observed firn temperature and meltwater percolation depth at the percolation site, but only the Darcy models accurately simulate firn temperature and percolation at the ice slab site. Despite good performance at certain locations, no single model currently simulates meltwater infiltration adequately at all sites. The model spread in estimated meltwater retention and runoff increases with increasing meltwater input. The highest runoff was calculated at the KAN_U site in 2012, when average total runoff across models (±2σ) was 353±610 mm w.e. (water equivalent), about 27±48 % of the surface meltwater input. We identify potential causes for the model spread and the mismatch with observations and provide recommendations for future model development and firn investigation.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Hydrology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/309261
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