A physically based model of the movement of water through snowpacks was used to calculate hydrographs generated by diurnal waves of snowmelt on the tundra and in the boreal forest of subarctic Labrador. The model was tested against measured hydrographs from hillside plots that sampled a range of aspect, gradient and length, vegetative cover, and snow depth and density. The model yielded good results, particularly in the prediction of peak runoff rates, though there was a slight overestimate of the lag time. A comparison of predictions with field measurements indicated that given the ranges over which each of the controls is likely to vary, the two most critical factors controlling the hydrograph are the snow depth and the melt rate, which must be predicted precisely for short time intervals. Permeability of the snowpack is another important control, but it can be estimated closely from published values.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1976
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