Articles | Volume 13, issue 9
Model description paper
17 Sep 2020
Model description paper |  | 17 Sep 2020

The Community Firn Model (CFM) v1.0

C. Max Stevens, Vincent Verjans, Jessica M. D. Lundin, Emma C. Kahle, Annika N. Horlings, Brita I. Horlings, and Edwin D. Waddington

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Cited articles

Adolph, A. C. and Albert, M. R.: Gas diffusivity and permeability through the firn column at Summit, Greenland: measurements and comparison to microstructural properties, The Cryosphere, 8, 319–328,, 2014. a
Agosta, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Orsi, A., Favier, V., Gallée, H., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van Wessem, J. M., van de Berg, W. J., and Fettweis, X.: Estimation of the Antarctic surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR (1979–2015) and identification of dominant processes, The Cryosphere, 13, 281–296,, 2019. a
Alexander, P., Tedesco, M., Koenig, L., and Fettweis, X.: Evaluating a regional climate model simulation of Greenland ice sheet snow and firn density for improved surface mass balance estimates, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 12073–12082,, 2019. a
Alley, R. B.: Firn densification by grain-boundary sliding: a first model, Le Journal de Physique Colloques, 48, C1–249, 1987. a, b, c, d
Alley, R. B.: The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland, Quatern. Sci. Rev., 19, 213–226,, 2000. a
Short summary
Understanding processes in snow (firn), including compaction and airflow, is important for calculating how much mass the ice sheets are losing and for interpreting climate records from ice cores. We have developed the open-source Community Firn Model to simulate these processes. We used it to compare 13 different firn compaction equations and found that they do not agree within 10 %. We also show that including firn compaction in a firn-air model improves the match with data from ice cores.