162 Hydrology of Snowcovered Basins
Part 14. Snow and Glacier Hydrology
Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences
How to Cite
Davison, B. and Pietroniro, A. 2006. Hydrology of Snowcovered Basins. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 14:162.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Snowcovered catchments are an integral part of the earth's physical, chemical, and biological regulatory processes. Catchment-based assessments of snow are typically derived from snow surveys and snow courses. Remote sensing is also a valuable tool for use in understanding the nature and distribution of snowcover in a catchment. Snowcovered basin classifications are founded on the source and timing of runoff and the characteristics of the snow. In order to understand the hydrology of snowcovered catchments, it is important to understand the physics of snowmelt and other related phenomena, such as canopy effects that influence the temporal and spatial distribution of snow within a catchment, including both the energy and mass balance components. Operational temperature index models for basin snowmelt and statistical models for horizontal snowcover distribution help approximate some of the physical processes that are not (or cannot be) directly measured. Hydrological models are an attempt to articulate an understanding of the complex and nonlinear interactions within the hydrological cycle using a rational mathematical approach such as an index method or the energy balance approach. A number of projects have been completed or are underway to compare these models. Hydrological applications, avalanche forecasting, weather forecasting, and climate modeling have all driven snow research, with much cross fertilization between these fields.
- snowcover depletion;
- snowmelt modeling