Sublimation over seasonal snowpack at the southeastern edge of a desert in central Eurasia
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 26, Issue 25, pages 3911–3920, 15 December 2012
How to Cite
Zhou, H.-F., Zheng, X.-J., Zhou, B., Dai, Q. and Li, Y. (2012), Sublimation over seasonal snowpack at the southeastern edge of a desert in central Eurasia. Hydrol. Process., 26: 3911–3920. doi: 10.1002/hyp.8402
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 NOV 2011 04:54AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2011
- International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China. Grant Number: 2010DFA92720
- Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Number: 40671037
- air temperature;
- wind speed;
The Gurbantonggut Desert, China, is an ideal site for study of sublimation from the snowpack because there are sparse vegetation and simple topography, and the wind speed is not large enough to blow snow into the atmosphere from the snowpack. Daily sublimation was measured by manual snow lysimeters at 8:00, and an automatic weather station was deployed at the top of a stout longitudinal dune chain at the southeastern edge of the desert. It is shown that on a daily scale, there was an extremely significant no-intercept linear relationship between the measured sublimation and that calculated by the bulk aerodynamic method, although the former was only 83.8% of the latter. It is also demonstrated that −10°C and 2 m/s were the thresholds where the sublimation varied with the air temperature and the wind speed. When these two thresholds were exceeded, the sublimation accelerated. However, the air temperature and the wind speed at 2 m above the ground averaged −17.2°C and 1.3 m/s, respectively, and the percentages of the time when the air temperature was below −10 °C and the wind speed was below 2 m/s were 76.9% and 85.1%, respectively. As a result, the rate of sublimation was quite low most of the time, and the thin snowpack remained in a quasi-static state until the melt stage started. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.