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Niveograph Interpolation To Estimate Peak Accumulation of Snow Water Equivalent in Rocky Mountain National Park
Submitted by Armida on Wed, 12/31/2014 - 11:55
|Title||Niveograph Interpolation To Estimate Peak Accumulation of Snow Water Equivalent in Rocky Mountain National Park|
|Publication Type||Conference Proceedings|
|Year of Conference||2014|
|Authors||Patterson, Glenn G., and Fassnacht Steven R.|
|Conference Name||82nd Annual Western Snow Conference|
|Series Title||Proceedings of the Western Snow Conference|
|Conference Location||Durango, Colorado|
|Keywords||niveograph, Rocky Mountain National Park, SNOTEL, snow course, Snow water equivalent, SWE|
Since the late 1970s the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has used snow pillows at snowpack telemetry (SNOTEL) stations to measure the pressure of the overlying snowpack to provide a real-time daily record of snow water equivalent (SWE). Manual snow-course SWE measurements have been taken on or around the 1st of February, March, April and May for up to 75 years of record, with the April 1st SWE value typically used to represent peak SWE. However these have been shown to be in the order of 12% less than the actual peak, based on the SNOTEL record.
In this paper, daily SNOTEL SWE data were used to improve the estimation of peak SWE from the monthly measurements at snow courses. First of the month SWE values were used to adjust the median time series to produce estimates of peak SWE for each year of record. Average annual niveographs (graphs of SWE versus time) were created from SNOTEL data collected near the snow course. Five SNOTEL stations in and near Rocky Mountain National Park, with at least 30 years of record, are being used to characterize the snowpack in the park. Average annual peak SWE values ranged from 143 to 720 mm. This method produced good estimates of peak SWE for the two sites tested. The estimates were improved when the trend of snow accumulation on May 1 was considered.