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National Science Foundation (USA) 2007

Radiative Effects of Desert Dust Deposits in Alpine Snow

Radiative Desert Dusts Snow


Titre : Radiative Effects of Desert Dust Deposits in Alpine Snow

Organismes NSF : Div Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences (AGS)

Durée : June 30, 2007 — December 31, 2009

This study will address the following scientific objectives (1) determination of the modern baseline of absorbing dust deposition frequency and magnitude to snowcover in the San Juan Mountains, (2) the temporal variation of the integrated and spectral albedo of snow relative to dust concentration and layering, (3) develop parameterizations between snow albedo and dust concentrations for inclusion in radiation modules for general circulation models, (4) investigate the contribution of dust deposition from the Colorado Plateau and other sources (natural and anthropogenic), and (5) determine the temporal variability of regional to local absorbing dust sources to the alpine snowfields.
The research is intended to provide a framework for understanding the sensitivity of the hydrologic budget in this semi-arid region where snow albedo represents the dominant term in the generation of snowmelt. Because of a lack of measurements, general circulation models have not included accurate parameterizations of snow albedo and impurities. This work will be communicating these parameterizations to researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research for inclusion in the Community Climate System Model and other models.
Broader Impact : The project provides programs of Education and Outreach. A graduate student will work on the project with supervision provided by the PI. The project will include the outreach programs Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). A CU-Boulder undergraduate will participate in field and data analysis as part of a senior thesis with an REU grant. In the capacity of an RET, the project will involve teachers from a San Juan region school with a particular focus on teachers from the Silverton Public School. The Silverton Public School, considered a high poverty school, has expressed intention to participate in an RET with the project given its capacity to enhance their science and technology curriculum.
The real-time meteorological data from the Senator Beck alpine and the Swamp Angel subalpine sites will be distributed via a webserver and used to drive an online version of the snow physics model "SNTHERM.89". Students at universities with atmospheric science and snow hydrology courses will be able to access data from the San Juan Mountains and run the SNTHERM model with local meteorological and radiative data to predict snowpack properties.

Partenaire (s) : Thomas Painter tpainter (Principal Investigator)

Financement : $109,152.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 15 mai 2017, mise à jour le 5 novembre 2017