Conference emphasizes interdisciplinary issues related to snow hydrology



Interdisciplinary research efforts to integrate the physical aspects of snow cover with chemical and biological systems provide a new perspective on problems related to snow hydrology. The integration and distribution of these systems over different spatial and temporal scales was the focus of a conference last fall on snow hydrology and many presentations and discussions looked at the progress made over the past 20 years since the 1978 conference, “Modeling of Snow Cover Runoff.” With improvement in measurement techniques, computing capabilities, and remote data transmission, we now use more sophisticated and efficient point scale models of the physical processes of snow metamorphism and melting. An increased awareness exists of the importance of preferential flow processes (fingering), of the formation of ice layers in the snowpack, and of how these processes change over time and influence the snow chemistry and subniveal environment. Considerable understanding now exists at the catchment scale of the spatial patterns of blowing snow processes, as well as some predictive capability in research catchment settings.