The snowdrift effect on snow deposition: insights from a comparison of a snow pit profile and meteorological observations M. Ding1,2,3, C. Xiao1,2, R. Zhang1, D. Qin2, B. Jin4, B. Sun5, L. Bian1, J. Ming2,3,6, C. Li2, A. Xie2, W. Yang3, and Y. Ma1 1Institute of Climate System, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China 2State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China 3Snow-Ice-Aerosol Analyzing Laboratory, Beijing 100012, China 4Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, Beijing 100860, China 5Polar research institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China 6National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
Received: 01 Mar 2013 – Revised: 22 Mar 2013 – Accepted: 24 Mar 2013 – Published: 03 Apr 2013
Abstract. A high-frequency and precise ultrasonic sounder was used to record precipitated/deposited snow and drift events over a 3 yr
period (17 January 2005 to 4 January 2008) at the Eagle automatic weather station (AWS) site. Through a comparison of the
meteorological data with snow pit chemical/isotopic dating results, the snowdrift process effect during snow accumulation was
assessed. We believe that ice/firn cores are the most important proxies of climate and the environment because of their high
resolution and their preservation of historical greenhouse gas levels, although their limitations and measurement uncertainties
must be taken into account, due to the event-driven snow dominates the snow deposition. This study found a difference between
two dating results of up to 12 months for a ~ 95 cm snow pit, where the annual snow accumulation rate is 30.3 cm.
A weakness is also indicated when simulating the surface mass balance in Antarctica.
Citation: Ding, M., Xiao, C., Zhang, R., Qin, D., Jin, B., Sun, B., Bian, L., Ming, J., Li, C., Xie, A., Yang, W., and Ma, Y.: The snowdrift effect on snow deposition: insights from a comparison of a snow pit profile and meteorological observations, The Cryosphere Discuss., 7, 1415-1439, doi:10.5194/tcd-7-1415-2013, 2013.