613 Seminar: Steve Palm

SSAI, Code 612

Blowing snow over Antarctica is a widespread and frequent event. Satellite remote sensing using lidar has shown that blowing snow occurs over 70% of the time over large areas of Antarctica in winter. The transport and sublimation of blowing snow are important terms in the ice sheet mass balance equation and the latter is also an important part of the hydrological cycle. Until now the only way to estimate the magnitude of these processes was through model parameterization. We present a new technique that uses CALIPSO observations of blowing snow and model (MERRA-2) temperature, wind and humidity fields to compute both transport and sublimation of blowing snow over Antarctica. The results show a larger annual continent-wide integrated sublimation than current published estimates and a significant transport of snow from continent to ocean. The talk will also include the lidar backscatter structure of blowing snow layers that often reach heights of 200 to 300 m as well as the first dropsonde measurements of temperature, moisture and wind through numerous blowing snow layers.