Supplement of snow water equivalent in the alps

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Automated and continuous SWE quantification independent of weather conditions could enhance snow hydrological monitoring and modeling. Accurate and reliable in situ data are needed for the calibration and validation of remote sensing data and snowpack modeling. A systematic overview regarding the temporal reliability of the sub-snow GPS derived results is, however, missing for this emerging technique. Moreover, GPS processing impacts the results significantly.

The impact of elevation-dependent weighting, the elevation cutoff angles, and the time intervals for SWE estimation are systematically assessed. The best results are achieved using all observations with an elevation-dependent weighting scheme. Moreover, the SWE estimation performance is equally accurate for hourly SWE estimation as for lower temporal resolutions up to daily estimates. The impact of snow on the coordinate solution is furthermore evaluated. While the east and north components are not systematically influenced by the overlying snowpack, the vertical component exhibits a significant variation and strongly depends on the SWE.

Snow water equivalent in the Alps as seen by gridded data sets, CMIP5 and CORDEX climate models

The biased vertical component therefore provides an additional possibility to estimate SWE. Article :. Date of Publication: 06 September DOI: Need Help?Rohrer, L. Braun, H. Hydrology Research 1 February ; 25 : 53— The snow-water equivalent SWE of the seasonal snow cover is an important component of the water cycle in the Swiss Alps.

It is used for predicting seasonal discharge, for short-range discharge forecasts and also for assessing water quality aspects.

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The SWE has been measured every two weeks at about 50 stations located between and 2, m a. In addition there are special investigation areas with stations located between m and 2, m a.

The main characteristics of temporal and spatial SWE distributions are analyzed. The variations of SWE values depend in ranking order on elevation, on the year-to-year variations, on the region and on the exposition. The standardized SWE -values depend mostly on the year-to-year variations and on the region. Sign In or Create an Account. Advanced Search. Sign In. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Volume 25, Issue Previous Article Next Article. Research Article February 01 Analysis M.

Rohrer ; M. This Site. Google Scholar.

supplement of snow water equivalent in the alps

Braun ; L. Lang H. Hydrology Research 25 : 53— Article history Received:. Views Icon Views. Guest Access. Cite Icon Cite. This content is only available as a PDF. View Metrics. Cited by Google Scholar. Close Modal. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.The European Alps are one of the most densely populated mountain chains in the world.

The Southern Alps of Switzerland are a region in which rapid glacial loss is occurring with a variety of potential consequences for human health and sustainability. There are extensive human settlements and infrastructure that exist within the glacial regions of Switzerland and the melting of these glaciers will likely increase with a warming climate.

Ina record heat wave swept through Europe causing a mean glacial mass balance loss of 2. This was one of the most significant mass balance losses within the past 2, years Haeberli et al.

This would be potentially disastrous to Switzerland's tourism-dependent economy Koenig et al. Rising global temperatures are causing rates of glacial melting and thinning to accelerate. An evaluation of 19 glaciers within the Swiss Alps revealed a total ice volume loss of 3.

Changing weather patterns are resulting in warmer winters and lower snow accumulation. The North Atlantic Oscillation is a highly variable climatic phenomenon which is a major controlling factor of temperature, snow cover, and snow duration in the Swiss Alps Beniston Natural hazards are a prominent issue due to the large population within the Alps, and settlements are at risk of floods, avalanches, and landslides related to glacial melting and retreat.

Glacially-supplied water resources are vital for energy, agriculture, and other human uses in Switzerland. Disruptions in the normal volume of water that is supplied could occur if meltwaters begin to fluctuate outside their normal ranges. Shifting snowfall elevation ranges may render lower-lying ski areas unusable, leading to increased usage of higher-elevation ski areas. This will result in an increased anthropogenic impact on glaciated mountain areas.

Financial losses may occur as a result of decreased tourism and recreation within Switzerland's service economy sector if ski tourism begins to falter due to unpredictable weather.

supplement of snow water equivalent in the alps

As ofone-third of Switzerland's economy was based on tourism, with approximatelyjobs at stake Koening et al. Potential hazards must be continuously monitored and accounted for to prevent any catastrophic damage to human life and property.

Preventive measures should also be considered to avoid catastrophic events such as the glacial lake outburst flood in Valais and ice avalanche in Grindwald, both of which occurred due to a lack of mitigation strategies Huggel et al. Water resources must be secured, and conservation measures should be implemented to prepare for potential disruptions in meltwater flows. The diversification of economic activities beyond ski tourism is a potential avenue for reducing potential impacts related to climate change.

The towns of Arosa and Gstaad are examples of resort centers that have experienced success with hosting music and theatre festivals as alternative attractions. Bauder, Funk, and Huss A. Ice-volume changes of selected glaciers in the Swiss Alps since the end of the 19th century.

Annals of Glaciology Beniston, M. Climatic Change Haeberli, W.To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. The distribution of daily snow water equivalent in the central Italian Alps Advances in Water Resources, Daniele Bocchiola. The distribution of daily snow water equivalent in the central Italian Alps.

Advances in Water Resources 30 — www. An event based data analysis is carried out using a 14 year long data set dating back to SWE is estimated when the new snow depth is greater than 6 cm. The SWE sample average in time is shown to be related to physiographic attributes of the gauging area, thus not being homogeneous in space.

This suggests the use of a regional approach for frequency estimation of SWE. The frequency of occurrence of the normalized values of SWE is evaluated and tentatively accommodated by four probability distributions, often adopted in statistical modeling of hydrological variables. The Lognormal distribution shows the best performance. All rights reserved. Keywords: Snow water equivalent; Statistical distributions; Regionalization; Water resources assessment 1.

Introduction snow pack at the end of the winter season, depending on altitude but commonly assumed to happen on April 1st The assessment of water resources given by snowfalls is or so [3,22], is used as a rough estimate of the yearly accu- very important in snow fed basins in the Alpine range. Further, the density of snow pack is seldom measured, In principle, to assess the yearly amount of water but rather estimated using empirical formulae [12,13,22].

This requires measurement of snow depth rate assessment of SWE is particularly important, also for and density [3,23]. Albeit a network of snow depth consuming, unwieldy and, possibly, dangerous, particu- gauges is available, comprehensive information about snow larly in complex shaped terrains and during the accumula- pack density is not available. Therefore, there is little infor- tion season [12]. Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: daniele. Bocchiolarenzo. Statistical hypotheses about the distribution in space of rosso polimi. Bocchiola, R. The frequency SWE are performed. The Lognormal a two parameters Gamma distribution [25].

Using an aver- distribution shows the best performance. Finally, a sampling strategy based on the regional In the central Alpine range, the personnel of the Interre- approach is suggested to estimate the single site value of gional Association for Snow and Avalanches AINEVA of the index, or average lSWE, critical for the evaluation of Lombardia region, collected and made available measure- the single site distribution of SWE.Rohrer, L.

Hydrology Research 1 February ; 25 : 65— The knowledge of the temporary snow-water equivalent storage term SWE is an important prerequisite for the assessment of short- and long-term runoff volumes and water quality aspects. Since SWE measurements are frequently not available, this varilable is modelled on the basis of operationally measured meteorological data.

For model verification fortnightly measured SWE values are used. The choice of the proper model depends on the aim of the simulation and the input data available: if SWE is the only variable to be modelled and time-series of daily total and new snow depths values are available, then a simple model based on Martinec employing settling curves for each snowfall event is suggested.

If apart from SWE values other variables such as liquid water storage, snow albedo, etc. The following variables, measured in hourly intervals, are used as input: air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, water vapour pressure, global radiation and cloud cover term readings.

The modelled values are good estimates of the measured ones in the accumulation as well as in the ablation season.

Glacial Retreat in the Alps

Sign In or Create an Account. Advanced Search. Sign In. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Volume 25, Issue Previous Article Next Article.

Research Article February 01 Simulation M. Rohrer ; M. This Site. Google Scholar. Braun L. Hydrology Research 25 : 65— Article history Received:. Views Icon Views. Guest Access. Cite Icon Cite. This content is only available as a PDF.

View Metrics. Cited by Google Scholar. Close Modal. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.Terzago, S. Modifications in the water cycle, described as the continuous movement and exchange of water in its liquid, solid and vapor forms among all the components of the climate system, are among the effects of increasing temperatures.

In mountain regions water coexists in all three phases and the solid one including ice, snow and permafrost — all forming the mountain cryosphere — is important being an essential water reserve and vulnerable to the action of climate and environmental changes at the same time. In mountains, warming is occurring as twice as faster than in other regions and the enhanced temperature increase is leading to amplified effects both in the high-altitude ecosystems and downstream.

The temperature increase in mountain areas is reflected into a decrease in snowfall at low- and mid-altitudes, earlier snow melt and shortening of the snow cover duration with implications on the timing of the seasonal runoff and groundwater recharge. Our paper wants to provide a picture of the current and future conditions of snow depth in the Alpine region, one of the main water sources for European countries. In the absence of a dense network of ground-based stations measuring snow depth all over the Alps, our analysis is carried out considering the best available and accessible snow water equivalent SNW data SNW is a measure of snow depth from satellite measurements and from reanalyses.

Though pointing out the limitations of these datasets and the differences they exhibit with each other, they can be taken as a reference for snow depth in this area against which to compare and validate global and regional climate model simulations GCM, RCM then used for future climate projections.

It is important, in fact, to see how well models reproduce a certain variable over a historical reference period before using them for future projections. It is a common feature of almost all regional and global climate model to exhibit cold bias they underestimate temperatures, compared to a given reference and wet biases they overestimate precipitation, including snowfall.

What about future climate projections then? Skip to content. Figure 1. Like most glaciers around the world, also the Aletsch is retreating.

In it was 3. Picture by Silvia Terzago, March Figure 2. Percent change in the Alpine average snow water equivalent SNW expected by the midst century, compared to a reference periodin the RCP8.Research article 10 Jul Correspondence : Silvia Terzago s. The estimate of the current and future conditions of snow resources in mountain areas would require reliable, kilometre-resolution, regional-observation-based gridded data sets and climate models capable of properly representing snow processes and snow—climate interactions.

At the moment, the development of such tools is hampered by the sparseness of station-based reference observations. In past decades passive microwave remote sensing and reanalysis products have mainly been used to infer information on the snow water equivalent distribution.

However, the investigation has usually been limited to flat terrains as the reliability of these products in mountain areas is poorly characterized. This work considers the available snow water equivalent data sets from remote sensing and from reanalyses for the greater Alpine region GARand explores their ability to provide a coherent view of the snow water equivalent distribution and climatology in this area. We evaluate their reliability in reproducing the main drivers of snow processes — near-surface air temperature and precipitation — against the observational data set EOBS, and compare the snow water equivalent climatology with the remote sensing and reanalysis data sets previously considered.

We critically discuss the model limitations in the historical period and we explore their potential in providing reliable future projections.

The results of the analysis show that the time-averaged spatial distribution of snow water equivalent and the amplitude of its annual cycle are reproduced quite differently by the different remote sensing and reanalysis data sets, which in fact exhibit a large spread around the ensemble mean. We find that GCMs at spatial resolutions equal to or finer than 1.

Annales Geophysicae. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. Climate of the Past. Earth Surface Dynamics. Earth System Dynamics.

Geoscience Communication. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems. Geoscientific Model Development. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. Ocean Science. Solid Earth. The Cryosphere.

supplement of snow water equivalent in the alps

Weather and Climate Dynamics. Advances in Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Geosciences. Journal topic TC. Author Title Abstract Full text.

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