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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #419956


Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-028-16-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 26, 2010
End Date: Jul 31, 2015

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.

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.