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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-147
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-147
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 08 Jul 2019

Submitted as: brief communication | 08 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Brief communication: An alternative method for estimating the scavenging efficiency of black carbon by meltwater over sea ice

Tingfeng Dou1,2, Zhiheng Du2, Shutong Li2, Yulan Zhang2, Qi Zhang4, Mingju Hao5, Chuanjin Li2, Biao Tian4, Minghu Ding4, and Cunde Xiao3,2,4 Tingfeng Dou et al.
  • 1College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Land Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 4Institute of Tibetan Plateau and Polar Meteorology, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • 5Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. The meltwater scavenging coefficient (MSC) of black carbon (BC) is a key parameter in snow and sea ice model, as it determines the BC enrichment in the surface layer of melting snow over sea ice and therefore modulates the BC-snow-albedo feedbacks. We present a new method for MSC estimation by sampling ice layer within the snowpack and its overlying snow and measuring their physical characteristics in the snowpits in Elson Lagoon during the melting season. The bias of estimated MSC ranges from −5.4 % to 7.3 %, which is not exactly dependent on the degree of ablation. The average MSC value (14.5 % ± 2.6 %) calculated by this proposed method is slightly lower than that derived from the repeating sampling (RS) method in Elson Lagoon, while still is within its best estimate range. Further estimation demonstrates that the MSC in Canada Basin (23.6 % ± 2.1 %) is close to that in Greenland (23.0 % ± 12.5 %), and larger than that in Chukchi Sea (17.9 % ± 5.0 %). Elson Lagoon has the lowest MSC (14.5 % ± 2.6 %) in the study areas. It is concluded that MSC exhibited a regional difference in the western Arctic during the sampling period. The method suggested in this study provides a possible approach for large-scale measurements of MSC over the sea-ice area in Arctic.

Tingfeng Dou et al.
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Short summary
The meltwater scavenging coefficient (MSC) determines the BC enrichment in the surface layer of melting snow and therefore modulates the BC-snow-albedo feedbacks. This study presents a new method for MSC estimation over the sea-ice area in Arctic. Using this new method, we analyze the spatial variability of MSC in the western Arctic and demonstrate that the value in Canada Basin (23.6 % ± 2.1 %) ≈ that in Greenland (23.0 % ± 12.5 %) > that in Chukchi Sea (17.9 % ± 5.0 %) > that in Elson Lagoon (14.5 % ± 2.6 %).
The meltwater scavenging coefficient (MSC) determines the BC enrichment in the surface layer of...
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