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Small scale spatial variability of light-absorbing particles in snow on Mount Rainier, Washington State, USA

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Author(s): Erliana Acob, Stephanie Bartlett, Rylnn Carney, Susan Kaspari

Document Type: Presentation C35G-0960
Publisher: AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA
Published Year: 2021
DOI Identifier:
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Light-absorbing particles (LAP), including black carbon (BC), dust, and light absorbing organics, can be deposited on snow, decreasing albedo and accelerating snowmelt. While other studies have focused on larger scale spatial variability of LAPs, it is important to take smaller scale spatial variability into account as well because there is potential for large variability among these LAP across small spatial scales. The purpose of this study was to analyze the spatial variability of LAP within the Sunrise and Paradise regions on Mount Rainier and evaluate the effect of LAP on snow albedo. In July 2021, we used a Spectral Evolution PSR+ Spectroradiometer to measure snow reflectance at the snow collection sites, and on transects across the snow sampling areas. Snow samples taken from these sites were kept frozen until just prior to analysis, then melted and analyzed for total impurity concentrations using gravimetric filtration, black carbon using a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2), organic and elemental carbon using a Sunset- OC-EC Analyzer, and dust and organic content using a Jupiter Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer. LAP were characterized at the submicron scale using a Cytoviva Hyperspectral Imaging Microscope Spectrometer. Our results show that there is large variability in LAP concentration and composition over small spatial scales due to variations in snow topography (snow cups) and variable conditions favorable to algae blooms.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Acob and others (2021) or (Acob et al., 2021)

References Citation:
Acob, E., S. Bartlett, R. Carney, and S. Kaspari, 2021, Small scale spatial variability of light-absorbing particles in snow on Mount Rainier, Washington State, USA: Presentation C35G-0960, AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA,