Articles | Volume 24, issue 1
Research article
13 Jan 2020
Research article |  | 13 Jan 2020

Processes governing snow ablation in alpine terrain – detailed measurements from the Canadian Rockies

Michael Schirmer and John W. Pomeroy

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Cited articles

Anderton, S. P., White, S. M., and Alvera, B.: Evaluation of spatial variability in snow water equivalent for a high mountain catchment, Hydrol. Process., 18, 435–453,, 2004. 
Blöschl, G. and Kirnbauer, R.: An analysis of snow cover patterns in a small alpine catchment, Hydrol. Process., 6, 99–109,, 1992. 
Brauchli, T., Trujillo, E., Huwald, H., and Lehning, M.: Influence of Slope-Scale Snowmelt on Catchment Response Simulated With the Alpine3D Model, Water Resour. Res., 53, 10723–10739,, 2017. 
Changing Cold Regions Network Data:, last access: 8 January 2020. 
Clark, M. P., Hendrikx, J., Slater, A. G., Kavetski, D., Anderson, B., Cullen, N. J., Kerr, T., Hreinsson, E.Ö., and Woods, R. A.: Representing spatial variability of snow water equivalent in hydrologic and land-surface models: A review, Water Resour. Res., 47, W07539,, 2011. 
Short summary
The spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) and melt are important for hydrological applications in alpine terrain. We measured the spatial distribution of melt using a drone in very high resolution and could relate melt to topographic characteristics. Interestingly, melt and SWE were not related spatially, which influences the speed of areal melt out. We could explain this by melt varying over larger distances than SWE.