A preliminary assessment of the blowing snow transport and sublimation fluxes for the Mackenzie River Basin

Stephen J. Déry and M. K. Yau


The transport of snow by wind, most prominent in cold, blustery environments, may impact the water and energy budgets by two concurrent processes. Redistribution of snow from easily erodible surfaces to accumulation areas such as ravines and bushes can lead to substantial heterogeneities in the snowcover with meteorological and hydrological implications. Sublimation of suspended blowing snow particles may represent an additional sink of mass in the nival regime. One location where blowing snow may significantly affect the water and energy budgets is the Mackenzie River Basin (MRB). As part of the field campaign titled the Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS), we will present results depicting estimates of the total blowing snow transport fluxes for the MRB using the 1979-1993 ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA) data. These will be determined using empirically-based relationships as well as a bulk blowing snow model. Sublimation rates of blowing snow will be further evaluated in a preliminary assessment of the total contribution of blowing snow to the water and energy budgets of the MRB.