Articles | Volume 15, issue 9
Geosci. Model Dev., 15, 3603–3639, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-3603-2022

Special issue: Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) – configurations,...

Geosci. Model Dev., 15, 3603–3639, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-3603-2022
Development and technical paper
06 May 2022
Development and technical paper | 06 May 2022

Explicitly modelling microtopography in permafrost landscapes in a land surface model (JULES vn5.4_microtopography)

Noah D. Smith et al.

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Latest update: 27 Jun 2022
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Short summary
The Arctic has large areas of small mounds that are caused by ice lifting up the soil. Snow blown by wind gathers in hollows next to these mounds, insulating them in winter. The hollows tend to be wetter, and thus the soil absorbs more heat in summer. The warm wet soil in the hollows decomposes, releasing methane. We have made a model of this, and we have tested how it behaves and whether it looks like sites in Scandinavia and Siberia. Sometimes we get more methane than a model without mounds.