Lateral Free Water Flow and Snowmelt Lysimeters

TitleLateral Free Water Flow and Snowmelt Lysimeters
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2013
AuthorsOsterhuber, Randall
Conference Name81st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the Western Snow Conference
Date Published2013
Conference LocationJackson Hole, Wyoming
Keywordsfree water, lateral flow, lysimeter, snowmelt

Five winters of snowpack free water outflow data from two 18 m2 snowmelt lysimeters at the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory are analyzed against coincident measurements of precipitation, snow water equivalent accumulation and ablation, and snow depth. Challenges in using outflow data as a water balance tool are revealed by the sometime greatly differing amounts of outflow recorded by the side-by-side lysimeters, and the ratio of outflow to precipitation. The data here give insight to subsurface lateral free water flow. Also described is an attempt to inhibit lateral flow beyond the lysimeter’s borders by cutting the full profile of the melting spring snowpack.