Submitted to: American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 5/24/2004
Citation: Laliberte, A.S., Rango, A. 2004. Mapping shrub encroachment from 1936-2003 in the Jornada Basin of southern New Mexico. In: Proceedings of the 2004 Annual Conference, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, May 23-28, 2004, Denver, Colorado. Abstract No. 120. 2004 CDROM.
Interpretive Summary: Interpretive summary not required for proceedings.
Technical Abstract: There is such a vast difference in the physical properties of snow and other natural surfaces that the occurrence of snow in a drainage basin can cause significant changes in the energy and water budgets. As an example, the relatively high albedo of snow reflects a much higher percentage of incoming, solar, shortwave radiation than snow-free surfaces (80% or more for relatively new snow as opposed to roughly 15% or less for snow-free vegetation). Snow may cover up to 53% of the land surface in the northern hemisphere (Foster and Rango, 1982) and up to 44% of the world's land areas at any one time. On a drainage basin basis, the snow cover can vary significantly by elevation, time of year, or from year to year. The Rio Grande Basin at Del Norte, Colorado, is 3419 km2 in area and ranges from 2432 m a.s.l. at the streamgage up to 4215 m a.s.l. at the highest point in the basin. Figure 5.1 compares the snow cover depletion curves obtained from Landsat data in 1977 and 1979 in elevation zones A (780 km2; 2432-2926 m), B (1284 km2; 2926-3353 m), and C (1355 km2; 3353-4215 m) of the Rio Grande Basin. In a period of only 2 years from April 10, 1977, to April 10, 1979, a great difference in seasonal snow cover extent was experienced. Landsat data show that 49.5% or 1693 km2 were covered by snow on April 10, 1977. Two years later in 1979, 100% or 3419 km2 were snow covered on April 10.