Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2039–2048, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Special issue: Climate change and water resources management in mountains
29 Jun 2011
29 Jun 2011
The relevance of glacier melt in the water cycle of the Alps: the example of Austria
G. R. Koboltschnig and W. Schöner
Related subject area
Subject: Snow and Ice | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approachesApplication of machine learning techniques for regional bias correction of snow water equivalent estimates in Ontario, CanadaSensitivity of snow models to the accuracy of meteorological forcings in mountain environmentsSnow processes in mountain forests: interception modeling for coarse-scale applicationsSatellite-derived products of solar and longwave irradiances used for snowpack modelling in mountainous terrainSnow Water Equivalents exclusively from Snow Heights and their temporal Changes: The ΔSNOW.MODELUsing Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment data to derive corrections to precipitation data sets and improve modelled snow mass at high latitudesThe role of liquid water percolation representation in estimating snow water equivalent in a Mediterranean mountain region (Mount Lebanon)Hyper-resolution ensemble-based snow reanalysis in mountain regions using clusteringThe sensitivity of modeled snow accumulation and melt to precipitation phase methods across a climatic gradientAssessment of SWAT spatial and temporal transferability for a high-altitude glacierized catchmentModeling experiments on seasonal lake ice mass and energy balance in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: a case studyA simple model for local-scale sensible and latent heat advection contributions to snowmeltAssimilation of passive microwave AMSR-2 satellite observations in a snowpack evolution model over northeastern CanadaA simple temperature-based method to estimate heterogeneous frozen ground within a distributed watershed modelTechnical note: Representing glacier geometry changes in a semi-distributed hydrological modelProjected cryospheric and hydrological impacts of 21st century climate change in the Ötztal Alps (Austria) simulated using a physically based approachScenario approach for the seasonal forecast of Kharif flows from the Upper Indus BasinThe role of glacier changes and threshold definition in the characterisation of future streamflow droughts in glacierised catchmentsModelling hydrologic impacts of light absorbing aerosol deposition on snow at the catchment scaleLiquid water infiltration into a layered snowpack: evaluation of a 3-D water transport model with laboratory experimentsAssessing glacier melt contribution to streamflow at Universidad Glacier, central Andes of ChileModelling liquid water transport in snow under rain-on-snow conditions – considering preferential flowDeveloping a representative snow-monitoring network in a forested mountain watershedSubgrid parameterization of snow distribution at a Mediterranean site using terrestrial photographyAssessing the benefit of snow data assimilation for runoff modeling in Alpine catchmentsStable oxygen isotope variability in two contrasting glacier river catchments in GreenlandSpatio-temporal variability of snow water equivalent in the extra-tropical Andes Cordillera from distributed energy balance modeling and remotely sensed snow coverA conceptual, distributed snow redistribution modelDiagnostic calibration of a hydrological model in a mountain area by hydrograph partitioningMeltwater run-off from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002–2013Modeling the snow surface temperature with a one-layer energy balance snowmelt modelEstimating degree-day factors from MODIS for snowmelt runoff modelingEffect of meteorological forcing and snow model complexity on hydrological simulations in the Sieber catchment (Harz Mountains, Germany)Model simulations of the modulating effect of the snow cover in a rain-on-snow eventModelling runoff from a Himalayan debris-covered glacierLarge-scale analysis of changing frequencies of rain-on-snow events with flood-generation potentialChallenges in modelling river flow and ice regime on the Ningxia–Inner Mongolia reach of the Yellow River, ChinaCorrecting basin-scale snowfall in a mountainous basin using a distributed snowmelt model and remote-sensing dataLarge scale snow water equivalent status monitoring: comparison of different snow water products in the upper Colorado BasinPrecipitation and snow cover in the Himalaya: from reanalysis to regional climate simulationsComparison of climate change signals in CMIP3 and CMIP5 multi-model ensembles and implications for Central Asian glaciersStatistical modelling of the snow depth distribution in open alpine terrainClimate change impacts on maritime mountain snowpack in the Oregon CascadesSnow glacier melt estimation in tropical Andean glaciers using artificial neural networksIce volume distribution and implications on runoff projections in a glacierized catchmentQuantifying the contribution of glacier runoff to streamflow in the upper Columbia River Basin, CanadaSimulation of snow distribution and melt under cloudy conditions in an Alpine watershedImproving the snow physics of WEB-DHM and its point evaluation at the SnowMIP sitesOn the importance of sublimation to an alpine snow mass balance in the Canadian Rocky MountainsMeasurements and modelling of snowmelt and turbulent heat fluxes over shrub tundra
Fraser King, Andre R. Erler, Steven K. Frey, and Christopher G. Fletcher
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4887–4902,Short summary
Snow is a critical contributor to our water and energy budget, with impacts on flooding and water resource management. Measuring the amount of snow on the ground each year is an expensive and time-consuming task. Snow models and gridded products help to fill these gaps, yet there exist considerable uncertainties associated with their estimates. We demonstrate that machine learning techniques are able to reduce biases in these products to provide more realistic snow estimates across Ontario.
Silvia Terzago, Valentina Andreoli, Gabriele Arduini, Gianpaolo Balsamo, Lorenzo Campo, Claudio Cassardo, Edoardo Cremonese, Daniele Dolia, Simone Gabellani, Jost von Hardenberg, Umberto Morra di Cella, Elisa Palazzi, Gaia Piazzi, Paolo Pogliotti, and Antonello Provenzale
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4061–4090,Short summary
In mountain areas high-quality meteorological data to drive snow models are rarely available, so coarse-resolution data from spatial interpolation of the available in situ measurements or reanalyses are typically employed. We perform 12 experiments using six snow models with different degrees of complexity to show the impact of the accuracy of the forcing on snow depth and snow water equivalent simulations at the Alpine site of Torgnon, discussing the results in relation to the model complexity.
Nora Helbig, David Moeser, Michaela Teich, Laure Vincent, Yves Lejeune, Jean-Emmanuel Sicart, and Jean-Matthieu Monnet
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 2545–2560,Short summary
Snow retained in the forest canopy (snow interception) drives spatial variability of the subcanopy snow accumulation. As such, accurately describing snow interception in models is of importance for various applications such as hydrological, weather, and climate predictions. We developed descriptions for the spatial mean and variability of snow interception. An independent evaluation demonstrated that the novel models can be applied in coarse land surface model grid cells.
Louis Quéno, Fatima Karbou, Vincent Vionnet, and Ingrid Dombrowski-Etchevers
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 2083–2104,Short summary
In mountainous terrain, the snowpack is strongly affected by incoming shortwave and longwave radiation. Satellite-derived products of incoming radiation were assessed in the French Alps and the Pyrenees and compared to meteorological forecasts, reanalyses and in situ measurements. We showed their good quality in mountains. The different radiation datasets were used as radiative forcing for snowpack simulations with the detailed model Crocus. Their impact on the snowpack evolution was explored.
Michael Winkler, Harald Schellander, and Stefanie Gruber
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for HESSShort summary
A new method to calculate the mass of snow is provided. It is quite simple, but gives surprisingly precise results. The new approach only relies on snow height observations, and the authors are confident that it can be applied quite generally, at various places in different climates. The water mass, that is stored in the snow, can be attributed to all snow height records. This is especially interesting for studies on extremes (e.g. snow loads or flooding) and climate (e.g. precipitation trends).
Emma L. Robinson and Douglas B. Clark
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1763–1779,Short summary
This study used a water balance approach based on GRACE total water storage to infer the amount of cold-season precipitation in four Arctic river basins. This was used to evaluate four gridded meteorological data sets, which were used as inputs to a land surface model. We found that the cold-season precipitation in these data sets needed to be increased by up to 55 %. Using these higher precipitation inputs improved the model representation of Arctic hydrology, particularly lying snow.
Abbas Fayad and Simon Gascoin
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1527–1542,Short summary
Seasonal snowpack is an essential water resource in Mediterranean mountains. Here, we look at the role of water percolation in simulating snow mass (SWE), for the first time, in Mount Lebanon. We use SnowModel, a distributed snow model, forced by station data. The main sources of uncertainty were attributed to rain–snow partitioning, transient winter snowmelt, and the subpixel snow cover. Yet, we show that a process-based model is suitable to simulate wet snowpack in Mediterranean mountains.
Joel Fiddes, Kristoffer Aalstad, and Sebastian Westermann
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 4717–4736,Short summary
In this paper we address one of the big challenges in snow hydrology, namely the accurate simulation of the seasonal snowpack in ungauged regions. We do this by assimilating satellite observations of snow cover into a modelling framework. Importantly (and a novelty of the paper), we include a clustering approach that permits highly efficient ensemble simulations. Efficiency gains and dependency on purely global datasets, means that this method can be applied over large areas anywhere on Earth.
Keith S. Jennings and Noah P. Molotch
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3765–3786,Short summary
There is a wide variety of modeling methods to designate precipitation as rain, snow, or a mix of the two. Here we show that method choice introduces marked uncertainty to simulated snowpack water storage (> 200 mm) and snow cover duration (> 1 month) in areas that receive significant winter and spring precipitation at air temperatures at and near freezing. This marked uncertainty has implications for water resources management as well as simulations of past and future hydroclimatic states.
Maria Andrianaki, Juna Shrestha, Florian Kobierska, Nikolaos P. Nikolaidis, and Stefano M. Bernasconi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 3219–3232,Short summary
We tested the performance of the SWAT hydrological model after being transferred from a small Alpine watershed to a greater area. We found that the performance of the model for the greater catchment was satisfactory and the climate change simulations gave insights into the impact of climate change on our site. Assessment tests are important in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the models when they are applied under extreme conditions different to the ones that were calibrated.
Wenfeng Huang, Bin Cheng, Jinrong Zhang, Zheng Zhang, Timo Vihma, Zhijun Li, and Fujun Niu
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 2173–2186,Short summary
Up to now, little has been known on ice thermodynamics and lake–atmosphere interaction over the Tibetan Plateau during ice-covered seasons due to a lack of field data. Here, model experiments on ice thermodynamics were conducted in a shallow lake using HIGHTSI. Water–ice heat flux was a major source of uncertainty for lake ice thickness. Heat and mass budgets were estimated within the vertical air–ice–water system. Strong ice sublimation occurred and was responsible for water loss during winter.
Phillip Harder, John W. Pomeroy, and Warren D. Helgason
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 1–17,Short summary
As snow cover becomes patchy during snowmelt, energy is advected from warm snow-free surfaces to cold snow-covered surfaces. This paper proposes a simple sensible and latent heat advection model for snowmelt situations that can be coupled to one-dimensional energy balance snowmelt models. The model demonstrates that sensible and latent heat advection fluxes can compensate for one another, especially in early melt periods.
Fanny Larue, Alain Royer, Danielle De Sève, Alexandre Roy, and Emmanuel Cosme
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5711–5734,Short summary
A data assimilation scheme was developed to improve snow water equivalent (SWE) simulations by updating meteorological forcings and snowpack states using passive microwave satellite observations. A chain of models was first calibrated to simulate satellite observations over northeastern Canada. The assimilation was then validated over 12 stations where daily SWE measurements were acquired during 4 winters (2012–2016). The overall SWE bias is reduced by 68 % compared to original SWE simulations.
Michael L. Follum, Jeffrey D. Niemann, Julie T. Parno, and Charles W. Downer
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2669–2688,Short summary
Spatial patterns of snow and frozen ground within watersheds can impact the volume and timing of runoff. Commonly used snow and frozen ground simulation methods were modified to better account for the effects of topography and land cover on the spatial patterns of snow and frozen ground. When tested using a watershed in Vermont the modifications resulted in more accurate temporal and spatial simulation of both snow and frozen ground.
Jan Seibert, Marc J. P. Vis, Irene Kohn, Markus Weiler, and Kerstin Stahl
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2211–2224,Short summary
In many glacio-hydrological models glacier areas are assumed to be constant over time, which is a crucial limitation. Here we describe a novel approach to translate mass balances as simulated by the (glacio)hydrological model into glacier area changes. We combined the Δh approach of Huss et al. (2010) with the bucket-type model HBV and introduced a lookup table approach, which also allows periods with advancing glaciers to be represented, which is not possible with the original Huss method.
Florian Hanzer, Kristian Förster, Johanna Nemec, and Ulrich Strasser
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1593–1614,Short summary
Climate change effects on snow, glaciers, and hydrology are investigated for the Ötztal Alps region (Austria) using a hydroclimatological model driven by climate projections for the RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 scenarios. The results show declining snow amounts and strongly retreating glaciers with moderate effects on catchment runoff until the mid-21st century, whereas annual runoff volumes decrease strongly towards the end of the century.
Muhammad Fraz Ismail and Wolfgang Bogacki
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1391–1409,
Marit Van Tiel, Adriaan J. Teuling, Niko Wanders, Marc J. P. Vis, Kerstin Stahl, and Anne F. Van Loon
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 463–485,Short summary
Glaciers are important hydrological reservoirs. Short-term variability in glacier melt and also glacier retreat can cause droughts in streamflow. In this study, we analyse the effect of glacier changes and different drought threshold approaches on future projections of streamflow droughts in glacierised catchments. We show that these different methodological options result in different drought projections and that these options can be used to study different aspects of streamflow droughts.
Felix N. Matt, John F. Burkhart, and Joni-Pekka Pietikäinen
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 179–201,Short summary
Certain particles that have the ability to absorb sunlight deposit onto mountain snow via atmospheric transport mechanisms and then lower the snow's ability to reflect sunlight, which increases snowmelt. Herein we present a model aiming to simulate this effect and model the impacts on the streamflow of a southern Norwegian river. We find a significant difference in streamflow between simulations with and without the effect of light absorbing particles applied, in particular during spring melt.
Hiroyuki Hirashima, Francesco Avanzi, and Satoru Yamaguchi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5503–5515,Short summary
We reproduced the formation of capillary barriers and the development of preferential flow through snow using a multi-dimensional water transport model, which was then validated using laboratory experiments of liquid water infiltration into layered, initially dry snow. Simulation results showed that the model reconstructs some relevant features of capillary barriers and the timing of liquid water arrival at the snow base.
Claudio Bravo, Thomas Loriaux, Andrés Rivera, and Ben W. Brock
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3249–3266,Short summary
We present an analysis of meteorological conditions and melt for Universidad Glacier in central Chile. This glacier is characterized by high melt rates over the ablation season, representing a mean contribution of between 10 and 13 % of the total runoff observed in the upper Tinguiririca Basin during the November 2009 to March 2010 period. Few studies have quantified the glacier melt contribution to river runoff in Chile, and this work represents a new precedent for the Andes.
Sebastian Würzer, Nander Wever, Roman Juras, Michael Lehning, and Tobias Jonas
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1741–1756,Short summary
We discuss a dual-domain water transport model in a physics-based snowpack model to account for preferential flow (PF) in addition to matrix flow. So far no operationally used snow model has explicitly accounted for PF. The new approach is compared to existing water transport models and validated against in situ data from sprinkling and natural rain-on-snow (ROS) events. Our work demonstrates the benefit of considering PF in modelling hourly snowpack runoff, especially during ROS conditions.
Kelly E. Gleason, Anne W. Nolin, and Travis R. Roth
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1137–1147,Short summary
We present a coupled modeling approach used to objectively identify representative snow-monitoring locations in a forested watershed in the western Oregon Cascades mountain range. The resultant Forest Elevational Snow Transect (ForEST) represents combinations of forested and open land cover types at low, mid-, and high elevations.
Rafael Pimentel, Javier Herrero, and María José Polo
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 805–820,Short summary
This study analyses the subgrid variability of the snow distribution in a Mediterranean region and formulates a parametric approach that includes these scale effects in the physical modelling of snow by means of accumulation–depletion curves associated with snow evolution patterns, by means of terrestrial photography. The results confirm that the use of these on a cell scale provides a solid foundation for the extension of point snow models to larger areas.
Nena Griessinger, Jan Seibert, Jan Magnusson, and Tobias Jonas
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3895–3905,Short summary
In Alpine catchments, snowmelt is a major contribution to runoff. In this study, we address the question of whether the performance of a hydrological model can be enhanced by integrating data from an external snow monitoring system. To this end, a hydrological model was driven with snowmelt input from snow models of different complexities. Best performance was obtained with a snow model, which utilized data assimilation, in particular for catchments at higher elevations and for snow-rich years.
Jacob C. Yde, Niels T. Knudsen, Jørgen P. Steffensen, Jonathan L. Carrivick, Bent Hasholt, Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen, Christian Kronborg, Nicolaj K. Larsen, Sebastian H. Mernild, Hans Oerter, David H. Roberts, and Andrew J. Russell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1197–1210,
E. Cornwell, N. P. Molotch, and J. McPhee
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 411–430,Short summary
We present a high-resolution snow water equivalent estimation for the 2001–2014 period over the extratropical Andes Cordillera of Argentina and Chile, the first of its type. The effect of elevation on accumulation is confirmed, although this is less marked in the northern portion of the domain. The 3000–4000 m a.s.l. elevation band contributes the bulk of snowmelt, but the 4000–5000 m a.s.l. band is a significant source and deserves further monitoring and research.
S. Frey and H. Holzmann
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4517–4530,Short summary
Temperature index melt models often lead to snow accumulation in high mountainous elevations. We developed a simple conceptual snow redistribution model working on a commonly used grid cell size of 1x1km. That model is integrated in the hydrological rainfall runoff model COSERO. Applying the model to the catchment of Oetztaler Ache, Austria, could prevent the accumulation of snow in the upper altitudes and lead to an improved model efficiency regarding discharge and snow coverage (MODIS).
Z. H. He, F. Q. Tian, H. V. Gupta, H. C. Hu, and H. P. Hu
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1807–1826,
S. J. Marshall
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5181–5200,Short summary
This paper presents a new 12-year glacier meteorological, mass balance, and run-off record from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This provides insight into the glaciohydrological regime of the Rockies. For the period 2002-2013, about 60% of glacier meltwater run-off originated from seasonal snow and 40% was derived from glacier ice and firn. Ice and firn run-off is concentrated in the months of August and September, at which time it contributes significantly to regional-scale water resources.
J. You, D. G. Tarboton, and C. H. Luce
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5061–5076,Short summary
This paper evaluates three improvements to an energy balance snowmelt model aimed to represent snow surface temperature while retaining the parsimony of a single layer. Surface heat flow is modeled using a forcing term related to the vertical temperature difference and a restore term related to the temporal gradient of surface temperature. Adjustments for melt water refreezing and thermal conductivity when the snow is shallow are introduced. The model performs well at the three test sites.
Z. H. He, J. Parajka, F. Q. Tian, and G. Blöschl
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4773–4789,Short summary
In this paper, we propose a new method for estimating the snowmelt degree-day factor (DDFS) directly from MODIS snow covered area (SCA) and ground-based snow depth data without calibration. Snow density is estimated as the ratio between observed precipitation and changes in the snow volume for days with snow accumulation. DDFS values are estimated as the ratio between changes in the snow water equivalent and difference between the daily temperature and a threshold value for days with snowmelt.
K. Förster, G. Meon, T. Marke, and U. Strasser
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4703–4720,Short summary
Four snow models of different complexity (temperature-index vs. energy balance models) are compared using observed and dynamically downscaled atmospheric analysis data as input. Biases in simulated precipitation lead to lower model performance. However, simulated meteorological conditions are proven to be a valuable meteorological data source as they provide model input in regions with limited availability of observations and allow the application of energy balance approaches.
N. Wever, T. Jonas, C. Fierz, and M. Lehning
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4657–4669,Short summary
We simulated a severe rain-on-snow event in the Swiss Alps in October 2011 with a detailed multi-layer snow cover model. We found a strong modulating effect of the incoming rainfall signal by the snow cover. Initially, water from both rainfall and snow melt was absorbed by the snowpack. But once the snowpack released the stored water, simulated outflow rates exceeded rainfall and snow melt rates. The simulations suggest that structural snowpack changes enhanced the outflow during this event.
K. Fujita and A. Sakai
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2679–2694,
D. Freudiger, I. Kohn, K. Stahl, and M. Weiler
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2695–2709,
C. Fu, I. Popescu, C. Wang, A. E. Mynett, and F. Zhang
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1225–1237,
M. Shrestha, L. Wang, T. Koike, H. Tsutsui, Y. Xue, and Y. Hirabayashi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 747–761,
G. A. Artan, J. P. Verdin, and R. Lietzow
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 5127–5139,
M. Ménégoz, H. Gallée, and H. W. Jacobi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3921–3936,
A. F. Lutz, W. W. Immerzeel, A. Gobiet, F. Pellicciotti, and M. F. P. Bierkens
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3661–3677,
T. Grünewald, J. Stötter, J. W. Pomeroy, R. Dadic, I. Moreno Baños, J. Marturià, M. Spross, C. Hopkinson, P. Burlando, and M. Lehning
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3005–3021,
E. A. Sproles, A. W. Nolin, K. Rittger, and T. H. Painter
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2581–2597,
V. Moya Quiroga, A. Mano, Y. Asaoka, S. Kure, K. Udo, and J. Mendoza
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1265–1280,
J. Gabbi, D. Farinotti, A. Bauder, and H. Maurer
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 4543–4556,
G. Jost, R. D. Moore, B. Menounos, and R. Wheate
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 849–860,
H.-Y. Li and J. Wang
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2195–2203,
M. Shrestha, L. Wang, T. Koike, Y. Xue, and Y. Hirabayashi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2577–2594,
M. K. MacDonald, J. W. Pomeroy, and A. Pietroniro
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1401–1415,
D. Bewley, R. Essery, J. Pomeroy, and C. Ménard
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1331–1340,
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