TOPOGRAPHIC CONTROLS ON SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION IN SNOW TEMPERATURES IN A MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK

TitleTOPOGRAPHIC CONTROLS ON SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION IN SNOW TEMPERATURES IN A MOUNTAIN SNOWPACK
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2001
AuthorsDeems, J. S.
Conference Name69th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 69th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2001
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSun Valley, Idaho
KeywordsModeling, Snow temperatures, Topographic control
Abstract

The objective of this project is to analyze and model the geographic patterns of snow temperature profile characteristics as functions of topographic variables. The results of a pilot study are presented here. Snow temperature is a dominant variable in many physical processes in the seasonal snowpack. This spatial, or geographic, analysis of the relationship of snow temperature patterns to topography, utilizing landscape-scale modeling, attempts to identify temperature responses to effects of complex terrain. Data from the pilot study is used to create regression models predicting temperature profile characteristics throughout a basin, based on a combination of slope and slope aspect parameters at similar elevation. Prediction maps demonstrate the potential of this modeling technique. Future plans include collection and use of a larger dataset, inclusion of more topographic variables, and incorporation of a change-over-time component. Knowledge of the patterns of snow temperature profile characteristics over space and time could aid in avalanche prediction and snowmelt modeling.

URLsites/westernsnowconference.org/PDFs/2001Deems.pdf