The influence of snow cover on ground freeze-thaw frequency, intensity, and duration: An experimental study conducted in coastal northern 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
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.
freeze-thaw, seasonally frozen ground, snow-cover, soil temperature, subarctic Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299806DOI: 10.1080/00291951.2016.1154102ISI: 000378162700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299806DiVA: diva2:950142
FunderSwedish Research Council