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Simulating Snowmelt and Soil Frost Depth by an Energy Budget Approach

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The occurrence of snow and soil frost influences hydrology and, in turn, the mechanisms of soil erosion processes in cold regions. For these regions, reliably modeling the dynamics of snow accumulation and melt, and soil frost formation and melt, is necessary prior to accurately predicting runoff and erosion. Only then will methods for predicting the rates and amounts of soil erosion by water be established on a firm hydrological footing. This article examines the potential of an energy budget approach to simulate the magnitude and variations of snow and soil frost depths. It is assumed that the net sum of all energy components in the environment is consumed or compensated by water phase change occurring near or under the ground surface, such as snow melting or soil freezing and thawing. Testing indicates that this energy budget approach demonstrates promise to simulate winter hydrology and to be adapted to erosion prediction models.
Lin, C. , McCool, D.K.
Includes references
Transactions of the ASABE 2006 Sept-Oct, v. 49, no. 5
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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