Scaling Precipitation Input to Spatially Distributed Hydrological Models by Measured Snow Distribution

Accurate knowledge on snow distribution in alpine terrain is crucial for various applications such as flood risk assessment, avalanche warning or managing water supply and hydro-power. To simulate the seasonal snow cover development in alpine terrain, the spatially distributed, physics-based model Alpine3D is suitable. The model is typically driven by spatial interpolations of observations from automatic weather stations (AWS), leading to errors in the spatial distribution of atmospheric forcing. With recent advances in remote sensing techniques, maps of snow depth can be acquired with high spatial resolution and accuracy. In this work, maps of the snow depth distribution, calculated from summer and winter digital surface models based on Airborne Digital Sensors (ADS), are used to scale precipitation input data, with the aim to improve the accuracy of simulation of the spatial distribution of snow with Alpine3D. A simple method to scale and redistribute precipitation is presented and the performance is analyzed. The scaling method is only applied if it is snowing. For rainfall the precipitation is distributed by interpolation, with a simple air temperature threshold used for the determination of the precipitation phase. It was found that the accuracy of spatial snow distribution could be improved significantly for the simulated domain. The standard deviation of absolute snow depth error is reduced up to a factor 3.4 to less than 20 cm. The mean absolute error in snow distribution was reduced when using representative input sources for the simulation domain. For inter-annual scaling, the model performance could also be improved, even when using a remote sensing dataset from a different winter. In conclusion, using remote sensing data to process precipitation input, complex processes such as preferential snow deposition and snow relocation due to wind or avalanches, can be substituted and modeling performance of spatial snow distribution is improved.


Publié dans:
Frontiers In Earth Science, 4, 108
Année
2016
Publisher:
Lausanne, Frontiers Media Sa
ISSN:
2296-6463
Mots-clefs:
Laboratoires:




 Notice créée le 2017-03-27, modifiée le 2019-12-05


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