Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: SNOWMELT LYSIMETERS FOR REAL-TIME SNOWMELT STUDIES IN TURKEY

Authors
item Tekeli, Emre - MIDEAST TECH UNIV-TURKEY
item Sorman, Arda - MIDEAST TECH UNIV-TURKEY
item Sensoy, Aynur - MIDEAST TECH UNIV-TURKEY
item Sorman, Unal - MIDEAST TECH UNIV-TURKEY
item Bonta, James
item Schaefer, G - USDA-NRCS

Submitted to: Turkish Journal of Engineering & Environmental Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2004
Publication Date: January 3, 2005
Citation: Tekeli, E., Sorman, A., Sensoy, A., Sorman, U., Bonta, J.V., Schaefer, G. 2005. Snowmelt lysimeters for real-time snowmelt studies in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Engineering & Environmental Sciences. 29:29-40.

Interpretive Summary: Measuring and monitoring snowmelt in mountainous areas is important for water-supply forecasting for agriculture, domestic, and electric power uses. The mountainous area in the Middle East that includes Eastern Turkey is a major source of water for the region and quantitative measurements of melt water are needed. Snowpacks are highly variable spatially and in thickness, and a method for inexpensively monitoring real-time snowpack changes and melt water amounts is required. A snowmelt lysimeter is one instrument that can be used to collect and measure the melt water that is released from the snow pack during the snowmelt season. This device is composed of a rectangular collection pan in which snow accumulates and melts. The melt water flows through a hole in the pan and is measured with a data logger. The data recorded from a snowmelt lysimeter are valuable for formulation of the physical basis of modules of a snowmelt runoff model. There are few snow studies on the eastern region of Turkey in basins that feed the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The design and performance evaluation of the first real-time snowmelt lysimeter in this region is presented in this paper. Detailed information about the snowmelt lysimeter designs in the literature is also summarized. The water released from the monitored snow pack is evaluated on hourly and daily bases and compared with rain and snow-water equivalent values. The snowmelt lysimeter performed well, matching streamflow trends in large basins. Data from rain-on-snow, rainfall-only, and snowmelt-only events could be explained with lysimeter and other data. The lysimeter rainfall catch (about 5% greater than a rain gauge) was similar to rainfall measurements on a soil-block lysimeter in the USA at Coshocton, Ohio. This paper contributes to the literature by documenting first near real-time snow lysimeter research in eastern Turkey. The results are useful for improving the design for other areas in this understudied portion of the world where snowmelt contributes the major portion of the runoff. Agencies responsible for snowmelt forecasting, consulting firms, and university and government scientists will find this lysimeter design useful for unattended monitoring of snowmelt.

Technical Abstract: Snowmelt lysimeters collect and measure the melt water that is released from the snow pack. The data recorded from a snowmelt lysimeter are valuable for formulation of the physical basis of modules of a snowmelt runoff model. There are few snow studies on the eastern region of Turkey in basins that feed the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The design and performance evaluation of the first real-time snowmelt lysimeter in this region is presented in this paper. Detailed information about the snowmelt lysimeter designs in the literature is also summarized. The water released from the monitored snow pack is evaluated on hourly and daily bases and compared with rain and snow-water equivalent values. The snowmelt lysimeter performed well, matching streamflow trends in large basins. Data from rain-on-snow, rainfall-only, and snowmelt-only events could be explained with lysimeter and other data. The lysimeter rainfall catch (about 5% greater than a rain gauge) was similar to rainfall measurements on a soil-block lysimeter in the USA. This paper contributes to the literature by documenting first near real-time snow lysimeter research in eastern Turkey. The results are useful for improving the design for other areas in this understudied portion of the world where snowmelt contributes the major portion of the runoff.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page