Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tcd-9-301-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Jan 2015
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
A 3-D simulation of drifting snow in the turbulent boundary layer
N. Huang1,2 and Z. Wang1,2 1Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Disaster and Environment in Western China (Lanzhou University), The Ministry of Education of China, Lanzhou, 730000, China
2Department of Mechanics, School of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
Abstract. The drifting snow is one of the most important factors that affect the global ice mass balance and hydrological balance. Current models of drifting snow are usually one- or two-dimensional, focusing on the macroscopic quantities of drifting snow under temporal average flow. In this paper, we take the coupling effects between wind and snow particles into account and present a 3-D model of drifting snow with mixed grain size in the turbulent boundary layer. The Large Eddy Simulation (LES) method is used for simulating the turbulent boundary layer of the wind field and the 3-D trajectory of every motion snow particle is calculated through Lagrangian Particle Tracking method. The results indicated that the drifting snow in the turbulent boundary layer has apparent 3-D structure and snow streamers, which lead to an intermittent transport of the snow particles and spatial inhomogeneity, and the motion trajectories of snow particles, especially the small snow particles, are obviously affected by the turbulent fluctuation. The macro statistics of drifting snow indicates that the spanwise velocity of snow particles increases with height and is one order smaller than that of streamwise velocity. Furthermore, the diameter distribution of snow particles in the air along the height shows a stratification structure.

Citation: Huang, N. and Wang, Z.: A 3-D simulation of drifting snow in the turbulent boundary layer, The Cryosphere Discuss., 9, 301-331, doi:10.5194/tcd-9-301-2015, 2015.
N. Huang and Z. Wang
N. Huang and Z. Wang

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Short summary
Drifting snow is a frequent occurrence natural phenomenon at high latitudes, which has a non-ignorable contribution to the mass balance of ice sheets as well as hydrological balance. The snow drifting process in the turbulent boundary layer is performed and the snow streamers are reproduced. In addition, the particles' velocities along spanwise direction is one order of magnitude smaller than streamwise direction and the diameter distribution along height shows a stratification structure.
Drifting snow is a frequent occurrence natural phenomenon at high latitudes, which has a...
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