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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-84
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 07 May 2018

Model description paper | 07 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

The NASA Eulerian Snow on Sea Ice Model (NESOSIM): Initial model development and analysis

Alek A. Petty1,2, Melinda Webster1, Linette Boisvert1,2, and Thorsten Markus1 Alek A. Petty et al.
  • 1Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 2Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Abstract. The NASA Eulerian Snow On Sea Ice Model (NESOSIM) is a new open source model that produces daily estimates of the depth and density of snow on sea ice across the polar oceans. NESOSIM has been developed in a three-dimensional Eulerian framework and includes two (vertical) snow layers and several simple parameterizations to represent the key sources and sinks of snow on sea ice. The model is forced with daily inputs of snowfall and near-surface winds (from reanalyses), sea ice concentration (from satellite passive microwave data) and sea ice drift (from satellite feature tracking), during the accumulation season (August through April). In this study, we present the NESOSIM formulation, initial calibration efforts, sensitivity studies and validation efforts across an Arctic Ocean domain (100km horizontal resolution). The simulated snow depth and density are calibrated with in-situ data collected on drifting ice stations during the 1980s. NESOSIM demonstrates very strong agreement with the in-situ seasonal cycles of snow depth and density, and shows good (moderate) agreement with the regional snow depth (density) distributions. The results exhibit strong sensitivity to the reanalysis-derived snowfall forcing data, with the MERRA/JRA-55 (ASR) derived snow depths generally higher (lower) than ERA-Interim. We derive a new median daily snowfall dataset from these three reanalysis datasets to improve reliability in our input snowfall data. NESOSIM is run for a contemporary period (2000 to 2015) and compared against snow depth estimates derived from NASA's Operation IceBridge (OIB) snow radar data from 2009–2015, showing moderate/strong agreement, especially in the 2012–2015 comparisons.

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