Submitted to: Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratory Special Report
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Snowmelt is the principal source for soil moisture, groundwater recharge, and streamflow in mountainous regions of the western United States. Information on the timing, magnitude, and contributing area of melt under variable or changing climate conditions is required for successful water and resource management. A coupled energy and mass-balance model, ISNOBAL, is used to simulate the development and melting of the seasonal snowcover in several mountain basin in California, Idaho, and Utah. Simulations are done over basins varying from 1 to 2,500 km sq, with simulation periods varying form a few days for the smallest basin, Emerald Lake watershed in California, to multiple snow seasons for the Park City area in Utah. The model is driven by topographically corrected estimates of radiation, temperature, humidity, wind, and precipitation. Simulation results in all basins closely match independently measured snow water equivalent, snow depth, or runoff during both the development and depletion of the snowcover.