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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Topographic and Canopy Controls on Snow Deposition, Snow-Cover Energy Balance and Snowmelt

Authors
item Marks, Daniel
item Winstral, Adam
item Van Vactor, Steven
item Robertson, David
item Davis, R - USACE CRREL

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2000
Publication Date: April 20, 2001
Citation: Marks, Daniel G., Winstral, Adam H., Van Vactor, Steven S., Robertson, David C., Davis R.E., Topographic and Canopy Controls on Snow Deposition, Snow-Cover Energy Balance and Snowmelt, International Assoc. of Hydrological Sciences, Book Chapter Title - Remote Sensing Hydrology 2000, pp. 129-135, 2001.

Interpretive Summary: Significant differences in snow disposition, development of the seasonal snowcover, and the timing of melt occur between two experimental sites located in a head-water sub-drainage of the Reynolds Creek Experimental (RCEW) in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. Snow, climate, and stream discharge data were used to drive a point snow-cover energy and mass balance model, SNOBAL, to evaluate these differences for three water years: 1984, the largest discharge year on record (204 percent of average), 1992, the smallest discharge year on record (36 percent of average), and 1999(140 percent of average). The simulations showed that wind is the most important cause of the snowcover differences between the sites. Though differences do occur in the snowcover energy balance, these are primarily because reduced precipitation causes melt-out to occur earlier at site 176. This analysis shows the importance of understanding and accounting for variable patterns of snow deposition and redistribution of snow in semi-arid regions.

Technical Abstract: Significant differences in snow disposition, development of the seasonal snowcover, and the timing of melt occur between two experimental sites located in a head-water sub-drainage of the Reynolds Creek Experimental (RCEW) in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. Snow, climate, and stream discharge data were used to drive a point snow-cover energy and mass balance model, SNOBAL, to evaluate these differences for three water years: 1984, the largest discharge year on record (204 percent of average), 1992, the smallest discharge year on record (36 percent of average), and 1999(140 percent of average). The simulations showed that wind is the most important cause of the snowcover differences between the sites. Though differences do occur in the snowcover energy balance, these are primarily because reduced precipitation causes melt-out to occur earlier at site 176. This analysis shows the importance of understanding and accounting for variable patterns of snow deposition and redistribution of snow in semi-arid regions.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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