Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Single column models have been used to help develop algorithms for remote sensing retrievals. Assumptions in the single-column models may affect the assumptions of the remote sensing retrievals. Studies of the melting layer that use single column models often assume environments that are near or at water saturation. This study investigates the effects of evaporation upon melting particles to determine whether the assumption of negligible mass loss still holds within subsaturated melting layers. A single column, melting layer model is modified to include the effects of sublimation and evaporation upon the particles. Other changes to the model include switching the order in which the model loops over particle sizes and model layers; including a particle sedimentation scheme; adding aggregation, accretion, and collision and coalescence processes; allowing environmental variables such as the water vapor diffusivity and the Schmidt number to vary with the changes in the environment; adding explicitly calculated particle temperature, changing the particle terminal velocity parameterization; and using a newly-derived effective density-dimensional relationship for use in particle mass calculations.
Simulations of idealized melting layer environments show that significant mass loss due to evaporation during melting is possible within subsaturated environments. Short melting distances, accelerating particle fall speeds, and short melting times help constrain the amount of mass lost due to evaporation while melting is occurring, even in subsaturated profiles. Sublimation prior to melting can also be a significant source of mass loss. The trends shown on the particle scale also appear in the bulk distribution parameters such as rainfall rate and ice water content.
Simulations incorporating observed melting layer environments show that significant mass loss due to evaporation during the melting process is possible under certain environmental conditions. A profile such as the first melting layer profile on 10 May 2011 from the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) that is neither too saturated nor too subsaturated is possible and shows considerable mass loss for all particle sizes. Most melting layer profiles sampled during MC3E were too saturated for more than a dozen or two of the smallest particle sizes to experience significant mass loss. The aggregation, accretion, and collision and coalescence processes also countered significant mass loss at the largest particles sizes because these particles are efficient at collecting smaller particles due to their relative large sweep-out area.
From these results, it appears that the assumption of negligible mass loss due to evaporation while melting is occurring is not always valid. Studies that use large, low-density snowflakes and high RH environments can safely use the assumption of negligible mass loss. Studies that use small ice particles or low RH environments (RH less than about 80%) cannot use the assumption of negligible mass loss due to evaporation. Retrieval algorithms may be overestimating surface precipitation rates and intensities in subsaturated environments due to the assumptions of negligible mass loss while melting and near-saturated melting layer environments.
Neumann, Andrea, "Investigating Evaporation Of Melting Ice Particles Within A Bin Melting Layer Model" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 2053.