Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 38, Issue 1–2, pp 159–184 | Cite as

A theory for the scalar roughness and the scalar transfer coefficients over snow and sea ice

  • Edgar L. Andreas


Although the bulk aerodynamic transfer coefficients for sensible (C H ) and latent (C E ) heat over snow and sea ice surfaces are necessary for accurately modeling the surface energy budget, they have been measured rarely. This paper, therefore, presents a theoretical model that predicts neutral-stability values of C H and C E as functions of the wind speed and a surface roughness parameter. The crux of the model is establishing the interfacial sublayer profiles of the scalars, temperature and water vapor, over aerodynamically smooth and rough surfaces on the basis of a surface-renewal model in which turbulent eddies continually scour the surface, transferring scalar contaminants across the interface by molecular diffusion. Matching these interfacial sublayer profiles with the semi-logarithmic inertial sublayer profiles yields the roughness lengths for temperature and water vapor. When coupled with a model for the drag coefficient over snow and sea ice based on actual measurements, these roughness lengths lead to the transfer coefficients. C E is always a few percent larger than CH. Both decrease monotonically with increasing wind speed for speeds above 1 m s−1, and both increase at all wind speeds as the surface gets rougher. Both, nevertheless, are almost always between 1.0 × 10−3 and 1.5 × 10−3.


Wind Speed Water Vapor Transfer Coefficient Drag Coefficient Energy Budget 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar L. Andreas
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering LaboratoryHanoverUSA

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