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The influence of snow cover on ground freeze-thaw frequency, intensity, and duration: An experimental study conducted in coastal northern Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Univ Gavle, Dept Ind Dev IT & Land Management, Kungsbacksvagen 47, SE-80176 Gavle, Sweden..
2016 (English)In: Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, ISSN 0029-1951, E-ISSN 1502-5292, Vol. 70, no 2, 82-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The impact of snow cover on seasonal ground frost and freeze-thaw processes is not yet fully understood. The authors therefore examined how snow cover affects seasonal ground frost in a coastal setting in northern Sweden. Air and soil temperatures were recorded in a paired-plot experiment, both with and without snow cover, during the frost season 2012-2013. The frequency, duration, and intensity of the freeze-thaw cycles during the frost season were calculated. The results showed that the freeze-thaw frequency was 57% higher at the soil surface and the intensity 10 degrees C colder in the spring of 2013, when the ground lacked snow cover. Furthermore, the duration of the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle was 30 days longer on average in cases where there was natural snow accumulation. The correlation between air and ground surface temperatures weakened with increased snow-cover depth. The authors conclude that continued increases in air temperature and decreases in snow in coastal northern Sweden might alter freeze-thaw cycles and thus affect natural and human systems such as geomorphology, ecology, spatial planning, transport, and forestry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 70, no 2, 82-94 p.
Keyword [en]
freeze-thaw, seasonally frozen ground, snow-cover, soil temperature, subarctic Sweden
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299806DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2016.1154102ISI: 000378162700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299806DiVA: diva2:950142
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-07-27 Created: 2016-07-27 Last updated: 2016-07-27Bibliographically approved

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