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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 Jun 2020

12 Jun 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Mass balance and hydrological modeling of the Hardangerjøkulen ice cap in south-central Norway

Trude Eidhammer1, Adam Booth2, Sven Decker3, Lu Li4, Michael Barlage1, David Gochis1, Roy Rasmussen1, Kjetil Melvold5, Atle Nesje6, and Stefan Sobolowski4 Trude Eidhammer et al.
  • 1National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • 2School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK
  • 3Department of Geoscience, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 4NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 5Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate, Oslo, Norway
  • 6Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Norway

Abstract. A detailed, physically based one dimensional, column snowpack model (Crocus) has been incorporated into the hydrological model WRF-Hydro. This allows for direct surface mass balance simulation of glaciers and subsequent modeling of meltwater discharge from glaciers. To evaluate the new system (WRF-Hydro/Glacier), WRF model simulations were downscaled to 1 km grid spacing to provide meteorological forcing data to the WRF-Hydro/Glacier system at 100 m grid spacing. Evaluation of the WRF downscaling showed that it compared well with in situ meteorological observations for most of the simulation period. The WRF-Hydro/Glacier system reproduced the glacier surface winter/summer and net mass balance, snow depth, surface albedo and glacier runoff well compared to observations. The WRF-Hydro/Glacier system is only activated over a priori designated glacier areas. This glacier area is initialized with observed glacier thickness and assumed to be pure ice (with corresponding ice density). This allows for melt of the glacier to continue after all accumulated snow has melted. Furthermore, the simulation of surface albedo over the glacier is more realistic as surface albedo is represented by snow where there is accumulated snow, and glacier ice when all accumulated snow is melted. The improved estimation of albedo has an appreciable impact on the discharge from the glacier during late summer. We have shown that the integrated snow pack system allows for improved glacier surface mass balance studies as well as hydrological studies.

Trude Eidhammer et al.

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Trude Eidhammer et al.

Trude Eidhammer et al.


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