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Snowmelt evolution mapping using an energy balance approach over an alpine terrain


Mittaz, C; Imhof, M; Hoelzle, M; Haeberli, W (2002). Snowmelt evolution mapping using an energy balance approach over an alpine terrain. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 34(3):274-281.

Abstract

A computer model simulating snowmelt evolution and the spatial snowmelt pat- tern using an energy balance approach over an alpine terrain was developed. With a digital elevation model (DEM), surface characteristics information and meteo- rological data as input, all radiation balance components, turbulent fluxes, precip- itation, and finally snowmelt were modeled on a daily basis. Special emphasis was given to snow redistribution. The model was applied to an area of 35 km² in the Schilthom Massif (Bernese Oberland, Switzerland) for 1996-97. The model calculations are compared with a snowmelt evolution map, which was produced by combining seven scenes of aerial photographs taken in the Bernese Alps during the melting season 1997 (March-September). Both the temporal comparison of the snowmelt evolution and the spatial comparison of simulated and observed snowmelt patterns show a good accordance: at any of the compared dates, spatial coincidence is equal to or better than 78%. It can therefore be concluded that the model supplies a quite realistic reproduction of the energy exchange processes taking place at the ground snow-cover/atmosphere interface during winter and spring.

A computer model simulating snowmelt evolution and the spatial snowmelt pat- tern using an energy balance approach over an alpine terrain was developed. With a digital elevation model (DEM), surface characteristics information and meteo- rological data as input, all radiation balance components, turbulent fluxes, precip- itation, and finally snowmelt were modeled on a daily basis. Special emphasis was given to snow redistribution. The model was applied to an area of 35 km² in the Schilthom Massif (Bernese Oberland, Switzerland) for 1996-97. The model calculations are compared with a snowmelt evolution map, which was produced by combining seven scenes of aerial photographs taken in the Bernese Alps during the melting season 1997 (March-September). Both the temporal comparison of the snowmelt evolution and the spatial comparison of simulated and observed snowmelt patterns show a good accordance: at any of the compared dates, spatial coincidence is equal to or better than 78%. It can therefore be concluded that the model supplies a quite realistic reproduction of the energy exchange processes taking place at the ground snow-cover/atmosphere interface during winter and spring.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2002
Deposited On:20 Jul 2012 22:41
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:52
Publisher:University of Colorado, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
ISSN:0003-0031
Official URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/1552484
Related URLs:http://instaar.colorado.edu/AAAR/journal_issues/abstract.php?id=2108
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-63224

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