Test of a simple two-layer parameterisation to simulate the energy balance and temperature of a snow pack
Reasonably simple yet realistic modelling schemes simulating the heat and mass balance within a snow pack are required to provide the necessary boundary conditions for meteorological and hydrological models. An improvement to a one-layer snow energy balance model (UEB, Tarboton etal., 1995) is proposed to better simulate snow surface and snow pack temperatures and, as a result, snowmelt. The modified scheme is assessed against measured snow data from the WINTEX field campaign during spring 1997 in northern Finland, and compared with results from a complex multi-layer snow energy balance scheme. The results show that separation of a one-layer representation into two snow layers and a soil layer enables a more realistic simulation of soil and snow temperatures as well as of the snow surface temperature. The two-layer and the multi-layer snow schemes yielded comparable results for internal processes in the snow whenever the simulation was carried out under similar boundary forcing. The modified scheme is proposed for use as a sub-scheme in meteorological or hydrological models, or as a tool for simulating spatially-variable snowmelt and the surface energy balance during seasonal snow cover.