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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Simulating Snowmelt and Soil Frost Depth by an Energy Budget Approach

Authors
item Lin, Chun-Hsu - CHUNG-HUA INSTITUTION
item Mccool, Donald

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/1462
Citation: Lin, C., McCool, D.K., 2006. Simulating Snowmelt and Soil Frost Depth by an Energy Budget Approach. Transactions of the ASABE, 49(5): 1383-1394.

Interpretive Summary: In cold regions, the occurrence of snow and soil frost influences hydrology and the mechanics of soil erosion processes. For these regions, reliable physical and mathematical modeling of snow accumulation and melt, and soil frost formation and melt, is necessary in order to accurately predict frost formation effects on infiltration and soil strength, snow melt runoff, and resulting erosion. We examined the potential of an energy budget modeling approach to simulate the magnitude and variations of snow and soil frost depths. We assumed that net sum of all energy components in the environment is consumed or compensated by water phase change occurring near or under the ground surface, such as snow melting or soil freezing-thawing. Testing indicates this energy budget approach has the potential to properly simulate winter hydrology and be adapted to erosion prediction models.

Technical Abstract: The occurrence of snow and soil frost influences hydrology and, in turn, the mechanics of soil erosion processes in cold regions. For these regions, reliably modeling the dynamics of snow accumulation and melt, and soil frost formation and melt, is necessary prior to accurately predicting runoff and erosion. Only after the dynamics of snow and frost are reliably modeled can simulation of the hydrologic impacts from these winter phenomena, such as higher runoff rates from rapid snowmelt, be addressed. Then schemes for predicting the rates and amounts of soil erosion by water can be established on a firm hydrological footing. This paper examines the potential of an energy budget approach to simulate the magnitude and variations of snow and soil frost depths. It is assumed that net sum of all energy components in the environment is consumed or compensated by water phase change occurring near or under the ground surface, such as snow melting or soil freezing-thawing. Testing indicates this energy budget approach demonstrates promise to simulate winter hydrology and be adapted to erosion prediction models.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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