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Implications of a shrinking Great Salt Lake for dust on snow deposition in the Wasatch Mountains, UT, as informed by a source to sink case study from the 13-14 April 2017 dust event

Skiles, S. Mc Kenzie ; Mallia, Derek V. ; Hallar, A. Gannet ; Lin, John C. ; Lambert, Andrew ; Petersen, Ross LU and Clark, Steven (2018) In Environmental Research Letters 13(12).
Abstract


The deposition of dust on snow accelerates melt by perturbing snow albedo, directly by darkening the snow surface and indirectly by enhancing snow grain growth. The snow darkening process impacts hydrology by shifting runoff timing and magnitude. Dust on snow deposition has been documented in the Wasatch Mountains, snowmelt from which accounts for up to 80% of surface water supply for Salt Lake City, UT, but the impact on snow melt has not yet been investigated. Here, we present a case study of a dust event observed in the Wasatch (13-14th April, 2017), sampled coincidentally in the air and at the snow surface at an instrumented high elevation site (Atwater Study Plot, Alta,... (More)


The deposition of dust on snow accelerates melt by perturbing snow albedo, directly by darkening the snow surface and indirectly by enhancing snow grain growth. The snow darkening process impacts hydrology by shifting runoff timing and magnitude. Dust on snow deposition has been documented in the Wasatch Mountains, snowmelt from which accounts for up to 80% of surface water supply for Salt Lake City, UT, but the impact on snow melt has not yet been investigated. Here, we present a case study of a dust event observed in the Wasatch (13-14th April, 2017), sampled coincidentally in the air and at the snow surface at an instrumented high elevation site (Atwater Study Plot, Alta, UT). Atmospheric backtrajectory modeling, the results of which were supported by measurements, showed that dust originated predominantly from the west: the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Great Salt Lake (GSL) dry lake bed. The deposited dust mass accounted for ∼50% of the season total dust loading in snow, and daily mean radiative forcing of 20-50 W m
-2
accelerated snow melt by approximately 25%. This has important implications for The Greatest Snow on Earth
α
, and snow water resources; the water level of the GSL has been declining, exposing dry lake beds, and there are no legal water rights or protections to maintain lake levels or mitigate dust emission.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
aerosols, dust, radiative forcing, snow, snowmelt
in
Environmental Research Letters
volume
13
issue
12
article number
124031
publisher
IOP Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85060143668
ISSN
1748-9318
DOI
10.1088/1748-9326/aaefd8
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
6d498745-9dfe-4365-a3e9-4bea3b483ffe
date added to LUP
2019-06-27 13:59:24
date last changed
2020-03-24 06:56:51
@article{6d498745-9dfe-4365-a3e9-4bea3b483ffe,
  abstract     = {<p><br>
                                                         The deposition of dust on snow accelerates melt by perturbing snow albedo, directly by darkening the snow surface and indirectly by enhancing snow grain growth. The snow darkening process impacts hydrology by shifting runoff timing and magnitude. Dust on snow deposition has been documented in the Wasatch Mountains, snowmelt from which accounts for up to 80% of surface water supply for Salt Lake City, UT, but the impact on snow melt has not yet been investigated. Here, we present a case study of a dust event observed in the Wasatch (13-14th April, 2017), sampled coincidentally in the air and at the snow surface at an instrumented high elevation site (Atwater Study Plot, Alta, UT). Atmospheric backtrajectory modeling, the results of which were supported by measurements, showed that dust originated predominantly from the west: the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Great Salt Lake (GSL) dry lake bed. The deposited dust mass accounted for ∼50% of the season total dust loading in snow, and daily mean radiative forcing of 20-50 W m                             <br>
                            <sup>-2</sup><br>
                                                          accelerated snow melt by approximately 25%. This has important implications for The Greatest Snow on Earth                             <br>
                            <sup>α</sup><br>
                                                         , and snow water resources; the water level of the GSL has been declining, exposing dry lake beds, and there are no legal water rights or protections to maintain lake levels or mitigate dust emission.                         <br>
                        </p>},
  author       = {Skiles, S. Mc Kenzie and Mallia, Derek V. and Hallar, A. Gannet and Lin, John C. and Lambert, Andrew and Petersen, Ross and Clark, Steven},
  issn         = {1748-9318},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {IOP Publishing},
  series       = {Environmental Research Letters},
  title        = {Implications of a shrinking Great Salt Lake for dust on snow deposition in the Wasatch Mountains, UT, as informed by a source to sink case study from the 13-14 April 2017 dust event},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaefd8},
  doi          = {10.1088/1748-9326/aaefd8},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2018},
}