Consumptive loss from manmade snowmaking

TitleConsumptive loss from manmade snowmaking
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1986
AuthorsMills, K., Eisel L. M., and Leaf C. F.
Conference Name54th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 54th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1986
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationPhoenix, Arizona
KeywordsConsumptive Loss, Ski Area Snowmaking, Snowmaking

Colorado Ski Country USA has undertaken a two year Management Research Study (October 1983-September 1985) designed to investigate the amount of consumptive water loss due to manmade snowmaking. This research has been divided into two studies: (1) the initial loss which occurs at the snowmaking machine, and (2) the watershed loss which occurs during the time the artificial snow resides in the natural snowpack and is subject to evaporation and sublimation loss. The initial loss was estimated using data gathered during field experiments and used as input to three models: (1) a blowing snow model, (2) a thermodynamic energy balance model, and (3) a mass balance model. Estimates on the amount of consumptive loss during the watershed loss phase were estimated by employing the Leaf/Brink Hydrologic Simultion Model of Colorado Subalpine Forest. Six Colorado ski areas were instrumented to collect data required to simulate runoff from their watershed. Once calibrated and validated to an area, precipitation input was changed to represent artificial snow and simulation runs were made to estimate consumptive loss during dry, average and wet years.