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Methods for developing time-series climate surfaces to drive topographically distributed energy- and water-balance models

Hydrological Processes

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Abstract

Topographically distributed energy- and water-balance models can accurately simulate both the development and melting of a seasonal snowcover in the mountain basins. To do this they require time-series climate surfaces of air temperature, humidity, wind speed, precipitation, and solar and thermal radiation. If data are available, these parameters can be adequately estimated at time steps of one to three hours. Unfortunately, climate monitoring in mountain basins is very limited, and the full range of elevations and exposures that affect climate conditions, snow deposition, and melt is seldom sampled. Detailed time-series climate surfaces have been successfully developed using limited data and relatively simple methods. We present a synopsis of the tools and methods used to combine limited data with simple corrections for the topographic controls to generate high temporal resolution time-series images of these climate parameters. Methods used include simulations, elevational gradients, and detrended kriging. The generated climate surfaces are evaluated at points and spatially to determine if they are reasonable approximations of actual conditions. Recommendations are made for the addition of critical parameters and measurement sites into routine monitoring systems in mountain basins.Topographically distributed energy- and water-balance models can accurately simulate both the development and melting of a seasonal snowcover in the mountain basins. To do this they require time-series climate surfaces of air temperature, humidity, wind speed, precipitation, and solar and thermal radiation. If data are available, these parameters can be adequately estimated at time steps of one to three hours. Unfortunately, climate monitoring in mountain basins is very limited, and the full range of elevations and exposures that affect climate conditions, snow deposition, and melt is seldom sampled. Detailed time-series climate surfaces have been successfully developed using limited data and relatively simple methods. We present a synopsis of the tools and methods used to combine limited data with simple corrections for the topographic controls to generate high temporal resolution time-series images of these climate parameters. Methods used include simulations, elevational gradients, and detrended kriging. The generated climate surfaces are evaluated at points and spatially to determine if they are reasonable approximations of actual conditions. Recommendations are made for the addition of critical parameters and measurement sites into routine monitoring systems in mountain basins.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Methods for developing time-series climate surfaces to drive topographically distributed energy- and water-balance models
Series title:
Hydrological Processes
Volume
13
Issue:
12-13
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Publisher location:
Chichester, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
2003
Last page:
2021
Number of Pages:
19
Conference Title:
Proceedings of the 1998 International Conference on Snow Hydrology: The Integration of Physical, Chemical and Biological Systems
Conference Location:
Brownsville, VT, USA
Conference Date:
6 October 1998 through 9 October 1998