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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207480

Title: A comparison of measured and modeled turbulent fluxes over snow based on site characteristics

item Marks, Daniel
item LINK, TIM

Submitted to: Trans American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2006
Publication Date: 12/20/2006
Citation: Reba, M., Marks, D., Link, T., and Pomeroy, J. 2006. A comparison of measured and modeled turbulent fluxes over snow based on site characteristics. EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 87(52), Fall Meeting Supplement, Abs C12A-08

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sensible and latent heat and mass flux represent a significant component of the snowcover energy and mass balance in mountain environments. Though these fluxes are computed in energy balance snow models, limited measurements exist for comparison or validation in complex, mountainous sites. Sensible and latent heat and mass flux can be determined directly from the turbulent fluctuations measured by fast-response sensors using eddy covariance (EC) theory. Two EC study sites, which are operated through the winter, were located in southwestern Idaho in a small headwater catchment of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, located approximately 80 km southwest of Boise, Idaho. One, a protected, below canopy site is located within a stand of aspen trees, and the other, an exposed site, is located nearby on a ridge over mixed sagebrush. Corrections and post-processing of eddy covariance data are discussed and EC-measured fluxes from the two sites are compared to better understand the manner in which terrain and vegetation influence turbulent fluxes over snow. Turbulent fluxes are also modeled at these two sites using the Snobal energy balance snow model, and differences between simulated and measured fluxes are evaluated. This research will improve our understanding of how heat and mass flux from the snowcover impacts water resources in areas dominated by, high winds, complex terrain and variable vegetation conditions, provide validation data for snow models, and ultimately improve water supply forecasts required for management decisions.