Modeling of Interannual Snow Storage for Long-Term Simulation

TitleModeling of Interannual Snow Storage for Long-Term Simulation
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2014
AuthorsOhara, Noriaka, Johnson Ryan, and Heward Jacob
Conference Name82nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the Western Snow Conference
Date Published2014
Conference LocationDurango, Colorado
KeywordsEnergy balance, equilibrium, glaciers, glaciology, mass balance models, snow storage

Snow models in hydrologic engineering field have barely incorporated the long-term effect of the interannual snow storage such as glaciers because the time scale of glacier dynamics is much longer than those of river flow and seasonal snowmelt. It will be shown in the presentation that general energy and mass balance models for snow process may fail without consideration of the interannual snow storage effect. This study proposes an appropriate treatment for inland glaciers as systems in dynamic equilibrium that stay constant under a static climate condition. It is supposed that the snow/ice vertical movement from high elevation areas to valleys (lower elevation areas) by means of wind re-distribution, avalanches, and glaciation, may be considered as an equilibrator of the glacier system because it stimulates snow/ice ablation. The simplest implicit modeling of such a dynamic equilibrium snow system is introduced and discussed for the long-term snow simulation, and its demonstrative model application in Wyoming will be presented.