Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: This paper describes a project whose goal is to understand interacting watershed processes over a range of scales in the semi-arid mountainous environment of the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed. We are developing a spatially distributed modeling framework that accounts for spatial variability in topography, vegetation and soils to facilitate physically realistic spatial integration of the complete water balance at a range of scales. Semi-arid rangeland and forested watersheds comprise a large portion of the western U.S. The quality, quantity and timing of runoff from these watersheds is crucial for water supply. Many watersheds are SNOWMELT driven, characterized by complex terrain and spatially very variable snow distribution and SNOWMELT inputs. Snow distribution variability spans several length scales and involves orographic precipitation effects, snow drifting due to wind and differential melt due to variable energy input at different slopes and aspects. This variability interacts with variability in soil moisture, vegetation distribution and evapotranspiration.