Snow accumulation was compared between forested and clear‐cut plots in the transient snow zone of the western Cascade Range of Oregon, and measured snowmelt in both plots was compared to melt predicted by energy balance analyses. The absence of forest vegetation affected both snow accumulation and amount of energy available for melt during rainfall. Because intercepted snow melted in the forest canopy and reached the ground as meltwater, water equivalents in the clear‐cut plot were commonly 2–3 times greater than those in the forested plot. During the largest rain‐on‐snow event of the study, measured water outflow (rain plus snowmelt) in the clear‐cut plot was 21% greater than in the forested plot. Estimates made from microclimatological data show that during the common period of melt, total energy available in the clear‐cut plot was 40% greater than that in the forested plot. Because of greater wind speed in the clear‐cut plot, combined sensible and latent heat transfers in the clear‐cut plot were nearly triple those of the forested plot.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1987
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