Assessment of water resources at a national scale is critical for understanding their vulnerability to future change in policy and climate. Representation of the spatiotemporal variability in snowmelt processes in continental-scale hydrologic models is critical for assessment of water resource response to continued climate change. Continental-extent hydrologic models such as the U.S. Geological Survey National Hydrologic Model (NHM) represent snowmelt processes through the application of snow depletion curves (SDCs). SDCs relate normalized snow water equivalent (SWE) to normalized snow covered area (SCA) over a snowmelt season for a given modeling unit. SDCs were derived using output from the operational Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) snow model as daily 1-km gridded SWE over the conterminous United States. Daily SNODAS output were aggregated to a predefined watershed-scale geospatial fabric and used to also calculate SCA from October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2013. The spatiotemporal variability in SNODAS output at the watershed scale was evaluated through the spatial distribution of the median and standard deviation for the time period. Representative SDCs for each watershed-scale modeling unit over the conterminous United States (n = 54,104) were selected using a consistent methodology and used to create categories of snowmelt based on SDC shape. The relation of SDC categories to the topographic and climatic variables allow for national-scale categorization of snowmelt processes.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Spatiotemporal variability of snow depletion curves derived from SNODAS for the conterminous United States, 2004-2013|
|Series title||Journal of the American Water Resources Association|
|Contributing office(s)||Colorado Water Science Center, National Research Program - Central Branch|