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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 286206, 14 pages
Research Article

Estimation of Continental-Basin-Scale Sublimation in the Lena River Basin, Siberia

1Department of Environmental Geochemical Cycle Research, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3123-75 Showamachi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001, Japan
2Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1375, USA
3Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, 1 Kitasato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0811, Japan

Received 9 September 2014; Accepted 18 December 2014

Academic Editor: Sven-Erik Gryning

Copyright © 2015 Kazuyoshi Suzuki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Lena River basin in Siberia produces one of the largest river inflows into the Arctic Ocean. One of the most important sources of runoff to the river is spring snowmelt and therefore snow ablation processes have great importance for this basin. In this study, we simulated these processes with fine resolution at basin scale using MicroMet/SnowModel and SnowAssim. To assimilate snow water equivalent (SWE) data in SnowAssim, we used routine daily snow depth data and Sturm’s method. Following the verification of this method for SWE estimation in the basin, we evaluated the impact of snow data assimilation on basin-scale snow ablation. Through validation against MODIS snow coverage data and in situ snow survey observations, we found that SnowAssim could not improve on the original simulation by MicroMet/SnowModel because of estimation errors within the SWE data. Vegetation and accumulated snowfall control the spatial distribution of sublimation and we established that sublimation has an important effect on snow ablation. We found that the ratio of sublimation to snowfall in forests was around 26% and that interannual variation of sublimation modulated spring river runoff.