Snow Melt Dynamics
Hans Peter Marshall
Over one billion people depend on snow melt for water every year. This project is providing data to better understand snowmelt dynamics of the Bogus Ridge and Treeline study sites in Dry Creek Experimental Watershed, in the Boise Foothills and Bogus Basin Ski Area. We have instrumented two sites with lysimeters: four at the Bogus Ridge Snow Study Site, and two at the Treeline study site. The Dry Creek Lysimeter is north facing whereas the Bogus Ridge Lysimeter is south facing. By blocking snow from the upslope snowpack in half of the lysimeters at each location, we can estimate the contribution of lateral flow within the snowpack stratigraphy. I am also performing weekly snow distribution surveys in Dry Creek Experimental Watershed. These surveys allow us to estimate the temporal changes in the spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE). The goal of this project is to allow us to better understand snow and quantify snow melt to model how much water will be produced from snowfall each year. Better predictions of water stored as snow will help with water forecasting and water management.