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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207475

Title: Snow modeling in the Klamath River Basin: understanding the factors controlling snow distribution and melt

item Marks, Daniel

Submitted to: Trans American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2006
Publication Date: 12/20/2006
Citation: Morehead, M., Garen, D., and Marks, D. 2006. Snow modeling in the Klamath River Basin: Understanding the factors controlling snow distribution and melt. EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 87(52) Fall Meeting Supplement, Abs C21B-1174

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Point and spatially distributed models have been applied to the 4053 km2 Sprague River Basin which is one of three main tributaries to the Upper Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon, USA. The simulations cover entire water years to understand the physics controlling snow distribution during the accumulation and melt periods. The models (Snobal and Isnobal, see Marks, et al., 1999, 2002; Garen and Marks, 2005) are designed to use readily available data from Snotel and Agrimet sites (precipitation, wind speed, radiation, air and soil temperatures, humidity). The model is validated by comparing the measured and modeled snow water equivalent, snow depth, and snow covered area. This modeling effort points out the key variables that need to be measured to simulate the snow pack. The sensitivity of the simulated snowcover to changes in the forcing variables is investigated to understand the controlling factors on the snow processes, the development of the seasonal snowcover and snowmelt. These models can be used to determine how many monitoring stations are required, where they should be located, what variables should be monitored and at what frequency. The results of this research are used to predict how climate variation and change scenarios may affect the snowcover and water resources of the Klamath region.