Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2015, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (6): 666-674.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00666

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Study of seasonal snow cover influencing the ground thermal regime on western flank of Da Xing'anling Mountains, northeastern China

XiaoLi Chang1,2, HuiJun Jin2, YanLin Zhang1,2, HaiBin Sun3   

  1. 1. Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, Hunan 411202, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China;
    3. Gen'he Meteorological Administration, Gen'he, Inner Mongolia 022350, China
  • Received:2015-02-04 Revised:2015-04-10 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: XiaoLi Chang
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41201066, 41401028, and J0930003/J0109) and the Open Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soils Engineering (No. SKLFSE-ZT-14).

Abstract: Although many studies relevant to snow cover and permafrost have focused on alpine, arctic, and subarctic areas, there is still a lack of understanding of the influences of seasonal snow cover on the thermal regime of the soils in permafrost regions in the mid-latitudes and boreal regions, such as that on the western flank of the Da Xing'anling (Hinggan) Mountains, northeastern China. This paper gives a detailed analysis on meteorological data series from 2001 to 2010 provided by the Gen'he Weather Station, which is located in a talik of discontinuous permafrost zone and with sparse meadow on the observation field. It is inferred that snow cover is important for the ground thermal regime in the middle Da Xing'anling Mountains. Snow cover of 10-cm in thickness and five to six months in duration (generally November to next March) can reduce the heat loss from the ground to the atmosphere by 28%, and by 71% if the snow depth increases to 36 cm. Moreover, the occurrence of snow cover resulted in mean annual ground surface temperatures 4.7-8.2 ℃ higher than the mean annual air temperatures recorded at the Gen'he Weather Station. The beginning date for stable snow cover establishment (SE date) and the initial snow depth (SDi) also had a great influences on the ground freezing process. Heavy snowfall before ground surface freeze-up could postpone and retard the freezing process in Gen'he. As a result, the duration of ground freezing was shortened by at least 20 days and the maximum depth of frost penetration was as much as 90 cm shallower.

Key words: snow cover, thermal regime, ground freezing, Da Xing'anling Mountains, northeastern China

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