Modeling Snow Depth and Snow Water Equivalent Distribution and Variation Characteristics in the Irtysh River Basin, China

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (18) ◽  
pp. 8365
Liming Gao ◽  
Lele Zhang ◽  
Yongping Shen ◽  
Yaonan Zhang ◽  
Minghao Ai ◽  

Accurate simulation of snow cover process is of great significance to the study of climate change and the water cycle. In our study, the China Meteorological Forcing Dataset (CMFD) and ERA-Interim were used as driving data to simulate the dynamic changes in snow depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) in the Irtysh River Basin from 2000 to 2018 using the Noah-MP land surface model, and the simulation results were compared with the gridded dataset of snow depth at Chinese meteorological stations (GDSD), the long-term series of daily snow depth dataset in China (LSD), and China’s daily snow depth and snow water equivalent products (CSS). Before the simulation, we compared the combinations of four parameterizations schemes of Noah-MP model at the Kuwei site. The results show that the rainfall and snowfall (SNF) scheme mainly affects the snow accumulation process, while the surface layer drag coefficient (SFC), snow/soil temperature time (STC), and snow surface albedo (ALB) schemes mainly affect the melting process. The effect of STC on the simulation results was much higher than the other three schemes; when STC uses a fully implicit scheme, the error of simulated snow depth and snow water equivalent is much greater than that of a semi-implicit scheme. At the basin scale, the accuracy of snow depth modeled by using CMFD and ERA-Interim is higher than LSD and CSS snow depth based on microwave remote sensing. In years with high snow cover, LSD and CSS snow depth data are seriously underestimated. According to the results of model simulation, it is concluded that the snow depth and snow water equivalent in the north of the basin are higher than those in the south. The average snow depth, snow water equivalent, snow days, and the start time of snow accumulation (STSA) in the basin did not change significantly during the study period, but the end time of snow melting was significantly advanced.

2017 ◽  
Vol 18 (5) ◽  
pp. 1205-1225 ◽  
Diana Verseghy ◽  
Ross Brown ◽  
Libo Wang

Abstract The Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS), version 3.6.1, was run offline for the period 1990–2011 over a domain centered on eastern Canada, driven by atmospheric forcing data dynamically downscaled from ERA-Interim using the Canadian Regional Climate Model. The precipitation inputs were adjusted to replicate the monthly average precipitation reported in the CRU observational database. The simulated fractional snow cover and the surface albedo were evaluated using NOAA Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System and MODIS data, and the snow water equivalent was evaluated using CMC, Global Snow Monitoring for Climate Research (GlobSnow), and Hydro-Québec products. The modeled fractional snow cover agreed well with the observational estimates. The albedo of snow-covered areas showed a bias of up to −0.15 in boreal forest regions, owing to neglect of subgrid-scale lakes in the simulation. In June, conversely, there was a positive albedo bias in the remaining snow-covered areas, likely caused by neglect of impurities in the snow. The validation of the snow water equivalent was complicated by the fact that the three observation-based datasets differed widely. Also, the downward adjustment of the forcing precipitation clearly resulted in a low snow bias in some regions. However, where the density of the observations was high, the CLASS snow model was deemed to have performed well. Sensitivity tests confirmed the satisfactory behavior of the current parameterizations of snow thermal conductivity, snow albedo refreshment threshold, and limiting snow depth and underlined the importance of snow interception by vegetation. Overall, the study demonstrated the necessity of using a wide variety of observation-based datasets for model validation.

2014 ◽  
Vol 10 (2) ◽  
pp. 145-160
Katarína Kotríková ◽  
Kamila Hlavčová ◽  
Róbert Fencík

Abstract An evaluation of changes in the snow cover in mountainous basins in Slovakia and a validation of MODIS satellite images are provided in this paper. An analysis of the changes in snow cover was given by evaluating changes in the snow depth, the duration of the snow cover, and the simulated snow water equivalent in a daily time step using a conceptual hydrological rainfall-runoff model with lumped parameters. These values were compared with the available measured data at climate stations. The changes in the snow cover and the simulated snow water equivalent were estimated by trend analysis; its significance was tested using the Mann-Kendall test. Also, the satellite images were compared with the available measured data. From the results, it is possible to see a decrease in the snow depth and the snow water equivalent from 1961-2010 in all the months of the winter season, and significant decreasing trends were indicated in the months of December, January and February

2019 ◽  
Abbas Fayad ◽  
Simon Gascoin

Abstract. In many Mediterranean mountain regions, the seasonal snowpack is an essential yet poorly known water resource. Here, we examine, for the first time, the spatial distribution and evolution of the snow water equivalent (SWE) during three snow seasons (2013–2016) in the coastal mountains of Lebanon. We run SnowModel (Liston and Elder, 2006a), a spatially-distributed, process-based snow model, at 100 m resolution forced by new automatic weather station (AWS) data in three snow-dominated basins of Mount Lebanon. We evaluate a recent upgrade of the liquid water percolation scheme in SnowModel, which was introduced to improve the simulation of the snow water equivalent (SWE) and runoff in warm maritime regions. The model is evaluated against continuous snow depth and snow albedo observations at the AWS, manual SWE measurements, and MODIS snow cover area between 1200 m and 3000 m a.s.l.. The results show that the new percolation scheme yields better performance especially in terms of SWE but also in snow depth and snow cover area. Over the simulation period between 2013 and 2016, the maximum snow mass was reached between December and March. Peak mean SWE (above 1200 m a.s.l.) changed significantly from year to year in the three study catchments with values ranging between 73 mm and 286 mm we (RMSE between 160 and 260 mm w.e.). We suggest that the major sources of uncertainty in simulating the SWE, in this warm Mediterranean climate, can be attributed to forcing error but also to our limited understanding of the separation between rain and snow at lower-elevations, the transient snow melt events during the accumulation season, and the high-variability of snow depth patterns at the sub-pixel scale due to the wind-driven blown-snow redistribution into karstic features and sinkholes. Yet, the use of a process-based snow model with minimal requirements for parameter estimation provides a basis to simulate snow mass SWE in non-monitored catchments and characterize the contribution of snowmelt to the karstic groundwater recharge in Lebanon. While this research focused on three basins in the Mount Lebanon, it serves as a case study to highlight the importance of wet snow processes to estimate SWE in Mediterranean mountain regions.

2019 ◽  
Xiongxin Xiao ◽  
Tingjun Zhang ◽  
Xinyue Zhong ◽  
Xiaodong Li ◽  
Yuxing Li

Abstract. Snow cover is an effective best indicator of climate change due to its effect on regional and global surface energy, water balance, hydrology, climate, and ecosystem function. We developed a long term Northern Hemisphere daily snow depth and snow water equivalent product (NHSnow) by the application of the support vector regression (SVR) snow depth retrieval algorithm to historical passive microwave sensors from 1992 to 2016. The accuracies of the snow depth product were evaluated against observed snow depth at meteorological stations along with the other two snow cover products (GlobSnow and ERA-Interim/Land) across the Northern Hemisphere. The evaluation results showed that NHSnow performs generally well with relatively high accuracy. Further analysis were performed across the Northern Hemisphere during 1992–2016, which used snow depth, total snow water equivalent (snow mass) and, snow cover days as indexes. Analysis showed the total snow water equivalent has a significant declining trends (~ 5794 km3 yr−1, 12.5 % reduction). Although spatial variation pattern of snow depth and snow cover days exhibited slight regional differences, it generally reveals a decreasing trend over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Our work provides evidence that rapid changes in snow depth and total snow water equivalent are occurring beginning at the turn of the 21st century with dramatic, surface-based warming.

1993 ◽  
Vol 18 ◽  
pp. 179-184
Tsutomu Nakamura ◽  
Osamu Abe

The average amounts of seasonal snow cover and snowfall in Japan were calculated as 7.9 × 1013kg and 1.2 × 1014kg, respectively. The mass of seasonal snow cover of a heavy-snowfall winter, 1980–81 (56-Gosetsu), was calculated as 1.3 × 1014kg. The amount of 7.9 × 1013kg was converted to water equivalent of 230 mm on the whole snow-covered area, including snow-prone area. A mean of 370 mm in snow water equivalent was calculated for the snow area where mean snow depth on the ground was more than 10 cm.

2020 ◽  
Vol 163 ◽  
pp. 05009
Aleksandr Minnegaliev ◽  
Ruslan Rakhimov ◽  
Ruslan Suleimanov ◽  
Mansur Gainanshin

A snow-pillow (or snow-measuring pillow) is a device designed to directly determine the snow water equivalent in the snow cover by measuring the weight or pressure of the snowfall. Snow-pillows allow collecting, accumulating and transmitting information about snow accumulation and snow melting with high discreteness, accuracy and promptness. Within the framework of implementing the initiated project, a snow-pillow prototype was created based on analogue strain-measuring sensors working in conjunction with an accumulating mechanism and a digital indicator run via a microcontroller. Subject to agreement with the directorate of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Bashkir UGMS”, the snow-pillow prototype was installed on the territory of the meteorological station Ufa-Dema in November 2019. Placing the pillow at the active weather observation station allows comparing the results obtained from the prototype with the data obtained at the station. Comparing the observation results for the autumn-winter season of 2019 has allowed us to conclude that the results obtained at the snow pillow are in line with the data of instrumental observations. The operating experience of the snow pillow shows that the prototype created under the project is applicable for evaluating the snow water equivalent, provided some minor changes are introduced into the design. In the future, observation results obtained from a network of snow pillows can be used for adjusting analytical models of snow accumulation and melting within the territory.

2013 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 203-219 ◽  
Eric Brun ◽  
Vincent Vionnet ◽  
Aaron Boone ◽  
Bertrand Decharme ◽  
Yannick Peings ◽  

Abstract The Crocus snowpack model within the Interactions between Soil–Biosphere–Atmosphere (ISBA) land surface model was run over northern Eurasia from 1979 to 1993, using forcing data extracted from hydrometeorological datasets and meteorological reanalyses. Simulated snow depth, snow water equivalent, and density over open fields were compared with local observations from over 1000 monitoring sites, available either once a day or three times per month. The best performance is obtained with European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim). Provided blowing snow sublimation is taken into account, the simulations show a small bias and high correlations in terms of snow depth, snow water equivalent, and density. Local snow cover durations as well as the onset and vanishing dates of continuous snow cover are also well reproduced. A major result is that the overall performance of the simulations is very similar to the performance of existing gridded snow products, which, in contrast, assimilate local snow depth observations. Soil temperature at 20-cm depth is reasonably well simulated. The methodology developed in this study is an efficient way to evaluate different meteorological datasets, especially in terms of snow precipitation. It reveals that the temporal disaggregation of monthly precipitation in the hydrometeorological dataset from Princeton University significantly impacts the rain–snow partitioning, deteriorating the simulation of the onset of snow cover as well as snow depth throughout the cold season.

Biologia ◽  
2014 ◽  
Vol 69 (11) ◽  
Martin Bartík ◽  
Roman Sitko ◽  
Marek Oreňák ◽  
Juraj Slovik ◽  
Jaroslav Škvarenina

AbstractIn the presented paper we deal with the impact of the mature spruce stand on the accumulation and melting of snow cover at Červenec research area located in the Western Tatras at an elevation of 1420 m a.s.l. The work analyses the data obtained from the monitoring of snow cover during the period 2009–2014 (6 seasons). Since the season 2012/2013 the measurements have been also performed in a dead part of the stand and in a meadow. The results proved significant impact of the spruce stand on hydro-physical characteristics of snow cover — snow water equivalent, snow density, as well as on their change due to the dieback of the stand. The data measured at individual locations (open space in the forest, open meadow area, living and dead forest) were tested with the paired t-test for the significance of average differences. Average snow water equivalent in the living forest, dead forest and meadow was 42%, 47% and 83% of the reference value measured at the open space in the forest, respectively. The process of snow accumulation and melting was fastest at the open space, followed by the dead forest. In the living forest, the processes were the slowest.

2019 ◽  
Vol 13 (12) ◽  
pp. 3413-3434 ◽  
Rebecca Gugerli ◽  
Nadine Salzmann ◽  
Matthias Huss ◽  
Darin Desilets

Abstract. Snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements of seasonal snowpack are crucial in many research fields. Yet accurate measurements at a high temporal resolution are difficult to obtain in high mountain regions. With a cosmic ray sensor (CRS), SWE can be inferred from neutron counts. We present the analyses of temporally continuous SWE measurements by a CRS on an alpine glacier in Switzerland (Glacier de la Plaine Morte) over two winter seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18), which differed markedly in the amount and timing of snow accumulation. By combining SWE with snow depth measurements, we calculate the daily mean density of the snowpack. Compared to manual field observations from snow pits, the autonomous measurements overestimate SWE by +2 % ± 13 %. Snow depth and the bulk snow density deviate from the manual measurements by ±6 % and ±9 %, respectively. The CRS measured with high reliability over two winter seasons and is thus considered a promising method to observe SWE at remote alpine sites. We use the daily observations to classify winter season days into those dominated by accumulation (solid precipitation, snow drift), ablation (snow drift, snowmelt) or snow densification. For each of these process-dominated days the prevailing meteorological conditions are distinct. The continuous SWE measurements were also used to define a scaling factor for precipitation amounts from nearby meteorological stations. With this analysis, we show that a best-possible constant scaling factor results in cumulative precipitation amounts that differ by a mean absolute error of less than 80 mm w.e. from snow accumulation at this site.

1996 ◽  
Vol 27 (5) ◽  
pp. 313-322 ◽  
Chi-Hai Ling ◽  
Edward G. Josberger ◽  
A.S. Thorndike

In the mountainous regions of the Upper Colorado River Basin, snow course observations give local measurements of snow water equivalent, which can be used to estimate regional averages of snow conditions. We develop a statistical technique to estimate the mesoscale average snow accumulation, using 8 years of snow course observations. For each of three major snow accumulation regions in the Upper Colorado River Basin – the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Colorado, the Uinta Mountains, Utah, and the Wind River Range, Wyoming – the snow course observations yield a correlation length scale of 38 km, 46 km, and 116 km respectively. This is the scale for which the snow course data at different sites are correlated with 70 per cent correlation. This correlation of snow accumulation over large distances allows for the estimation of the snow water equivalent on a mesoscale basis. With the snow course data binned into 1/4° latitude by 1/4° longitude pixels, an error analysis shows the following: for no snow course data in a given pixel, the uncertainty in the water equivalent estimate reaches 50 cm; that is, the climatological variability. However, as the number of snow courses in a pixel increases the uncertainty decreases, and approaches 5-10 cm when there are five snow courses in a pixel.

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