Snowmelt dynamics and streamflow response in an alpine catchment

Snowmelt processes are crucial components of the hydrologic cycle in mountain regions. Proper understanding of the relationships between snowmelt output at point and slope scales and the hydrological response of alpine catchments is important for its accurate representation in hydrological models. Here, we combine local and spatially distributed measurements during the snowmelt season at the Dischma River Basin (~40 km2) near Davos, Switzerland, to study the link between these processes at varying scales and the hydrological response of the catchment. At the point scale, snowmelt dynamics are captured at 5 stations where snowmelt output, vertical snow temperature profiles and soil moisture are continuously measured. At the slope scale, the snowmelt pulse is captured using weekly terrestrial laser scans of the snow surface to quantify the differential depletion of the snowpack at high resolutions (~1 m). The hydrological response is captured at 3 streamflow gages isolating the response of the catchment and subcatchments. These measurements are integrated to establish relationships between some of the controlling processes and basin morphological characteristics, and the catchment hydrological response. Results from the first-year measurement campaign (Water Year 2015) will be presented, with an outlook to the subsequent measurements and their integration with simulations at the catchment scale using the physically-based Alpine3D model.

Presented at:
26th IUGG General Assembly 2015, Prague, Czech Republic, June 22 - July 2, 2015

 Record created 2015-07-01, last modified 2018-03-17

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