Geometry of patchy snowcovers

TitleGeometry of patchy snowcovers
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1993
AuthorsShook, K., Gray D. M., and Pomeroy J. W.
Conference Name61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedJune 1993
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationQuebec City, Quebec
KeywordsAblation, Fractals, Grid-square, Model, Snow cover

The influence of spatial variation in snowcover water equivalent on areal snow-cover depletion and the geometry of snow patches that form during the ablation of shallow, seasonal snowcovers in open environments is discussed. A simplified snowpack ablation simulation is used to demonstrate that the fractal structure of the snowcover water equivalent causes soil and snow patches to possess fractal characteristics. This program is a distributed, grid-square model that uses a synthetically-generated snowcover and includes an algorithm for approximating the effects of local advection on melt. Fractal dimension(s) of snow patches produced by the model are shown to agree closely with the dimensions of natural ablated snowcovers determined from analyses of aerial photographs.