Grantee Research Project Results
Towards Understanding the Spatial Representativeness of Point Measurements of Snow Water Equivalent in Mountainous RegionsEPA Grant Number: U915961
Title: Towards Understanding the Spatial Representativeness of Point Measurements of Snow Water Equivalent in Mountainous Regions
Investigators: Bardsley, Timothy J.
Institution: University of Nevada - Reno
EPA Project Officer: Boddie, Georgette
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2003
Project Amount: $48,988
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Geology , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration
In semiarid regions typical of the western United States, snowmelt dominates riverflows. Understanding the snow distribution in these regions is critical for balancing water resource demands and maintaining ecosystem health. Currently, a relatively sparse network of manual and automated point measurements of snow water equivalent serve as the main input to snowmelt runoff models. The objective of this research project is to expand our limited understanding of how these points represent their local- and basin-scale areas to increase the accuracy of these models.Approach:
I will conduct intensive field snow surveys centered on automated stations in the Colorado Rockies and the Sierra coupled with geographic information systems analysis of terrain and vegetative features. The final result will include the percentage of a forecast basin each site represents by factors that drive snow distribution.Supplemental Keywords:
fellowship, snowmelt, Colorado Rockies, Sierra, runoff model, snow water equivalent, Colorado, CO.