Aspen Bibliography


Coupled Modelling of Forest Snow Interception and Sublimation

Document Type

Contribution to Book


Hydrological Processes


12 (15)

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A series of process-based algorithms has been developed to describe the accumulation, unloading and sublimation of intercepted snow in forest canopies. These algorithms are unique in that they scale up the physics of interception and sublimation from small scales, where they are well understood, to forest stand-scale calculations of intercepted snow sublimation. Evaluation of results from the set of algorithms against measured interception and sublimation, in a southern boreal forest jack pine stand during late winter, found that the coupled model provides reasonable approximations of both interception and sublimation losses on half-hourly, daily and event bases. Cumulative errors in the estimate of intercepted snow load over 23 days of test were 0·06 mm SWE, with a standard deviation of 0·46 mm SWE. Sublimation losses during the evaluation were high, approximately two-thirds of snowfall within this period. Seasonal intercepted snow sublimation as a portion of annual snowfall at the model test site was lower than sublimation during the tests, ranging from 13% for a mixed spruce–aspen, 31% for the mature pine and 40% for a mature spruce stand. The results indicate that sublimation can be a significant abstraction of water from mature evergreen stands in northern forests and that the losses can be calculated by application of process-based algorithms.