SNOW AND HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES IN THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST
Location: Watershed Management Research
Title: Terrain and forest shelter effects on snowcover energetics, patterns of snow deposition, snowmelt and runoff over a semi-arid mountain catchment
Submitted to: Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2007
Publication Date: December 8, 2007
Citation: Marks, D.G., Winstral, A.H., Pomeroy, J., Nayak, A., Reba, M. 2007. Terrain and forest shelter effects on snowcover energetics, patterns of snow deposition, snowmelt and runoff over a semi-arid mountain catchment. EOS Transactions of teh American Geophysical Union, 88(52) Fall Meeting Supplement, Abstract C21-0466.
In mountainous regions, topographic and vegetation structure control snowcover energetics, patterns of snow deposition, meteorological conditions, snowmelt and runoff. A topographically distributed snow accumulation and melt model (ISNOBAL) is coupled to a wind field and snow redistribution model to simulate the development and ablation of the seasonal snowcover over a small mountainous catchment, the Reynolds Mountain East basin (0.38 km2) in southwestern Idaho, USA. Simulations were conducted for 9 water years (1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2006) representing a range of wet and dry, warm and cold conditions. Simulated patterns of snowcover energetics, mass balance and surface water input for each water year are shown. Discussion and analysis of how distributions of snowcover energetics, development, melt and ablation response to dry and wet, and warm and cold snow season conditions is presented. Snow redistribution in relation to drift and scour zones, and vegetation shelter under the range of conditions presented is analyzed. The details of select events, such as mid-winter melt, rain-on-snow, early spring wind and high radiation are evaluated and discussed. This research will improve our understanding of how the structure of topography and vegetation influences snowcover distribution, energetics, hydrology and water resources in snow and wind-dominated mountainous regions.