Modeling cold region ground temperatures with a heat flux upper boundary model

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This study formulates a heat flux boundary model to assess cold region ground temperatures and to distinguish the difference between this boundary type and a temperature boundary type. This formulation considers the impacts of the ground-surface albedo and of the environmental conditions (e.g., air temperature, wind speed, and solar radiation) on the ground-surface heat flux and subsequent subsurface temperature profiles. The predicted results are verified by the observed temperature profiles at a test station on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A temperature boundary model is also used to simulate the ground temperature and is compared to the same field-observed temperature profiles. The paper speculates whether neglecting the evaporation-induced heat flux in the formulation of the heat flux boundary model compromises the ground temperature profile calculation. The effect of the evolution of the surface albedo on the redistribution of the ground temperature profiles is also discussed. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Journal of Cold Regions Engineering