Western U.S. Alpine Watershed Studies
Snow accumulation and distribution in an Alpine Watershed
Article first published online: 8 JAN 2008
Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 27, Issue 7, pages 1541–1552, July 1991
How to Cite
1991), Snow accumulation and distribution in an Alpine Watershed, Water Resour. Res., 27(7), 1541–1552, doi:10.1029/91WR00506., , and (
- Issue published online: 8 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 8 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 SEP 1990
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 1990
Distribution of snow water equivalence (SWE) was measured in the Emerald Lake watershed located in Sequoia National Park, California, by taking hundreds of depth measurements and density profiles at six locations during the 1986, 1987 and 1988 water years. A stratified sampling scheme was evaluated by identifying and mapping zones of similar snow properties on the basis of topographic parameters that account for variations in both accumulation and ablation. Elevation, slope, and radiation values calculated from a digital elevation model were used to determine the zones. Of the variables studied, net radiation was of primary importance. Field measurements of SWE were combined with the physical attributes of the watershed and clustered to identify similar classes of SWE. The entire basin was then partitioned into zones for each survey date. Statistical analysis showed that partitioning the watershed on the basis of topographic and radiation variables does produce superior results over a simple random sample.