Streamflow response to seasonal snow cover mass changes over large Siberian watersheds
Article first published online: 11 MAY 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface (2003–2012)
Volume 112, Issue F2, June 2007
How to Cite
2007), Streamflow response to seasonal snow cover mass changes over large Siberian watersheds, J. Geophys. Res., 112, F02S22, doi:10.1029/2006JF000518., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 11 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 DEC 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 18 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Received: 4 APR 2006
- remote sensing;
- snow and ice;
- runoff and streamflow
 We used remotely sensed weekly snow water equivalent (SWE) data (1988–2000) to investigate streamflow response to seasonal snow cover change in the large Siberian watersheds (the Ob, Yenisei, and Lena basins). We quantified the seasonal cycles and variations of snow cover mass and river streamflow and identified a clear correspondence of river discharge to seasonal snow cover mass change. We also examined and compared the weekly mean streamflow with the weekly basin SWE for the study period. The results revealed a strong relation between the streamflow and snow cover mass change during the spring melt season over the large Siberian watersheds. This relationship provides a practical procedure of using remotely sensed snow cover information for snowmelt runoff estimation over the large northern watersheds. Analyses of extreme (high/low) SWE cases (years) and the associated streamflow conditions indicate an association of high (low) flood peak with high (low) maximum SWE in the Ob and Yenisei basins. Comparative analyses of weekly basin SWE data versus snow cover extent (SCE), peak snowmelt floods, and climatic variables (temperature and winter precipitation) indicate consistency among basin SWE, SCE, and temperature but incompatibility between basin SWE and winter precipitation, particularly for the Lena watershed. The inconsistency suggests uncertainties in determination of basin winter snowfall amounts and limitations in applications of the SWE retrieval algorithm over large watersheds/regions with very different physical characteristics. Overall, the results of this study clearly demonstrate that the weekly SWE data/products derived from microwave remote sensing technology are useful in understanding seasonal streamflow changes in the arctic regions.