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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of a Snow Model for Tseb/alexi

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of the cooperative research project is to develop a snow mass and energy balance model that can be applied to the TSEB/ALEXI modeling framework which currently is applied using weather satellite data over the continental U.S. for monitoring evapotranspiration and drought. This will allow the remote sensing-based surface energy balance modeling scheme to be applied over snow covered regions which currently are masked or removed from the analysis. This will offer the capability to monitor and assess water availability in root zone and near surface more accurately for different seasons and provide better estimates of crop growth, yield and assess impacts of drought for areas having water supplies provided primarily by snowmelt.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The cooperator has developed a snow model capable of simulating surface fluxes and snowmelt rates. The snow model has been integrated into the existing TSEB/ALEXI scheme and tested with ground truth data collected at an ARS mountainous watershed. Model comparisons with ground truth measurements of surface fluxes have shown reasonable agreement and encouraging results. The COOPERATOR will work with the ARS to continue to improve the snow-TSEB/ALEXI model and extend validation with ground truth data collected at sites in other snow ecosystems of the Northern Hemisphere and implement the Snow-TSEB/ALEXI modeling system with satellite data that would allow regional applications. Validation will also include inter-comparisons with a detailed snowmelt model.


3.Progress Report:

The UMD collaborator has developed a snow model capable of simulating surface fluxes and snowmelt rates. The snow model has been integrated into the existing Two-Source-Energy-Balance/Atmosphere-Land-Exchange-Inverse (TSEB/ALEXI) modeling scheme and tested with ground truth data collected at an ARS mountainous watershed, Reynolds Creek, ID. Model comparisons with ground truth measurements of surface fluxes have shown reasonable agreement and a manuscript is planned for submission to a peer reviewed journal. Our collaborator will work with ARS investigators in HRSL to continue to improve the snow-TSEB/ALEXI model and extend validation with ground truth data collected over croplands in the Midwest and forested sites in snow ecosystems in Alaska. Validation will also include inter-comparisons with a detailed snowmelt model. Once adequately validated, the Snow-TSEB/ALEXI modeling system will be applied with satellite data for regional applications.


Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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