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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Methods for Developing Time-Series Climate Surfaces to Drive Topographically Distributed Snowmelt Models

item Susong, D - USGS
item Marks, Daniel
item Garen, D - NRCS

Submitted to: Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratory Special Report
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Topographically distributed snowmelt models can accurately simulate both the development and melting of a seasonal snowcover in mountain basins. To do this they require time- series climate surfaces of air temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation, and solar and thermal radiation. If data are available, these parameters can be adequately estimated at time steps of 1-3 hours. Unfortunately, climate monitoring in mountain basin is very limited, and the full range of elevations and exposures that effect climate conditions, snow deposition, and melt is seldom sampled. Detailed time- series climate surfaces have been successfully developed using limited data and relatively simple methods. We present a synopsis of the tools and methods used to combine limited data with simple corrections for the topographic controls to generate high temporal resolution time-series image of these climate parameter. Methods used include simulations, elevational gradients, and detrended kriging. The generated climate surfaces are evaluated at points and spatially to determine if they are reasonable approximations of actual conditions. Future methods development is discussed in light of increasingly complex methods of parameter estimation.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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