The influence of snow cover on the ground thermal regime

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Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Pages421432; # of pages: 12
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; snow cover; thermal properties; seasons; ground thermal regime; ground temperatures; soil temperatures; numerical model; finite difference; snow cover
AbstractThis paper presents the results of a numerical study of the effects of snow cover on long-term, periodic, steady-state equilibrium ground temperatures. It is shown that mean annual ground temperatures decrease with depth when the soil thermal conductivity is greater in the frozen than in the unfrozen phase. For permafrost conditions the increase in mean annual ground temperatures due to seasonal snow cover is augmented significantly when soil latent heat is present. In seasonal frost cases the calculated depth of frost penetration is extremely sensitive to details of the snow cover buildup. In permafrost cases calculated mean annual temperatures are extremely sensitive to the assumptions made in treating the snow cover. In either case, because it is difficult to model snow cover accurately, the reliabilty of ground thermal regime computations is adversely affected.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number20588
NPARC number20386154
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Record identifier5e204d8c-1340-465b-a432-fc46e9bd8430
Record created2012-07-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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