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Keyword: snowpack


Projects Posted on: January 30, 2017
This NASA-sponsored project will test a variety of sensors and techniques used to collect and improve airborne and ground-based measurements to determine the snow-water equivalent (SWE), or the amount of water held in snow, over different terrains. This is significant because much of the worlds’, including the western U.S.’s water supply is derived from snow in mountain environments. Better information on SWE can improve hazard forecasting, water availability predictions, and agricultural forecasting, among other things. The SnowEx team includes more than 100 scientists from universities and agencies across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.

A simple snowmelt lysimeter

Publications Posted on: August 14, 2015
A simple gage on the lysimeter principle has been developed to provide continuous readings of the volume of water flowing from the base of a snowpack in the form of surface melt alone or rain percolate and surface melt combined. The data obtained show promise, after two seasons of being applicable in river flood forecasting, as well as in studies of snow hydrology.

The generation of spring peak flows by short-term meteorological events

Publications Posted on: August 14, 2015
Spring peak flows recorded over a 25-year period in Benton Creek, a small forested watershed in northern Idaho, were studied in their relation to meteorological events. More peak flows were generated by rain-on-snow than by clear-weather snowmelt; the two types of peaks differ in magnitude and in other characteristics.

Missing mountain water

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 13, 2015
New understanding has revealed that declines in snowpacks are not just related to warming temperatures but also to overall decreases in precipitation and streamflow in northwestern U.S. mountains, which result from slowing winter westerly windspeeds over the region. Warming related to an increased atmospheric CO2 may have contributed to the changed atmospheric pressure patterns that result in reduced wind speeds.

A conceptual precipitation-runoff modeling suite: Model selection, calibration and predictive uncertainty assessment

Publications Posted on: July 28, 2015
In Montana and much of the Rocky Mountain West, the single most important parameter in forecasting the controls on regional water resources is snowpack. Despite the heightened importance of snowpack, few studies have considered the representation of uncertainty in coupled snowmelt/hydrologic conceptual models. Uncertainty estimation provides a direct interpretation of the risk associated with predictive modeling results.

Evaluation of climatic data, post-treatment water yield and snowpack differences between closed and open stands of lodgepole pine on Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest

Publications Posted on: July 28, 2015
Data collection on Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest was initiated in 1992 and has expanded to the present time. A preliminary report was prepared to include data collection through the 1995 season (Farnes et aI, 1995). Some data was updated in Farnes et al, 1999. Since then, data has been collected but has not been edited, summarized or tabulated in electronic form.

Permeability measurements on new and equitemperature snow

Publications Posted on: May 28, 2015
During the month of February, between 46 and 53% of the land area of the northern hemisphere is snow covered. Continental snowpacks act as chemical reservoirs; pollutants can accumulate in the pack over the entire winter and are released during a relatively short spring melt period. Interactions between the snow and the atmosphere can change the quantities of different chemical species stored in the snow.

Ionic tracer movement through a Wyoming snowpack

Publications Posted on: May 28, 2015
A meltwater ionic pulse with initial concentrations of 5-10 or more times the average was observed in lysimeters set at the base of a 2-m snowpack in an unpolluted, alpine watershed. Both background chemical species and added tracers exhibited the initial pulse. About 10 days after the onset of meltwater release, solute concentrations collected in the lysimeters dropped to near the average snowpack level.

Climate, snowpack, and streamflow of Priest River Experimental Forest, revisited

Publications Posted on: February 23, 2015
The climate record of Priest River Experimental Forest has the potential to provide a century-long history of northern Rocky Mountain forest ecosystems. The record, which began in 1911 with the Benton Flat Nursery control weather station, included observations of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind.

The influence of an extensive dust event on snow chemistry in the southern Rocky Mountains

Publications Posted on: April 04, 2012
In mid-February 2006, windstorms in Arizona, Utah, and western Colorado generated a dust cloud that distributed a layer of dust across the surface of the snowpack throughout much of the Colorado Rockies; it remained visible throughout the winter.