By accumulating precipitation at high elevations, snow and ice completely change the hydrologic response of a watershed. Water stored in the snow pack and in glaciers thus represents an important component of the hydrological budget in many regions of the world and a sustainment to life during dry seasons. Predicted impacts of climate change in headwater catchments (including a shift from snow to rain, earlier snowmelt, and a decrease in peak snow accumulation) will affect both water resources distribution and water uses at multiple scales, with potential implications for energy and food production.
Our knowledge about snow/ice accumulation and melt patterns is highly uncertain, because of both limited availability and inherently large spatial variability of hydrological and weather data in remote areas at high elevations. This translates into limited process understanding, especially in a warming climate. The objective of this session is to integrate specialists focusing on snow accumulation and melt within the context of catchment hydrology and snow as a source for glacier ice and melt, hence streamflow. The aim is to integrate and share knowledge and experiences about experimental research, remote sensing and modelling.
Specifically, contributions addressing the following topics are welcome:
- results of experimental research on snowmelt runoff processes and their potential implementation in hydrological models;
- development of novel strategies for snowmelt runoff modelling in various (or changing) climatic and land-cover conditions
- evaluation of observed in-situ or remote-sensing snow products (e.g. snow cover, albedo, snow depth, snow water equivalent) and their application for snowmelt runoff calibration, data assimilation or operational streamflow forecasting
- observational and modelling studies that shed new light on hydrological processes in glacier-covered catchments, e.g., impacts of glacier retreat on water resources and water storage dynamic or the application of techniques for tracing water flow paths.
Studies on cryosphere-influenced mountain hydrology, such as landforms at high elevation and their relationship with streamflow, water balance of snow/ice-dominated, high mountain regions, etc.
This session is linked closely to the session CR3.04/AS4.6/CL2.15/HS2.1.3 . While the focus of our session is on the monitoring and modelling of snow for hydrologic applications, session CR3.04/AS4.6/CL2.15/HS2.1.3 addresses monitoring and modelling of snow processes across scales.