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Open AccessArticle

Parsimonious Modeling of Snow Accumulation and Snowmelt Processes in High Mountain Basins

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Departamento de Ingeniería Geomática e Hidráulica, Universidad de Guanajuato, Av. Juárez 77, Zona Centro, Guanajuato 36000, México
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Research Institute of Water Engineering and Environment, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061288
Received: 16 March 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
The success of hydrological modeling of a high mountain basin depends in most case on the accurate quantification of the snowmelt. However, mathematically modeling snowmelt is not a simple task due to, on one hand, the high number of variables that can be relevant and can change significantly in space and, in the other hand, the low availability of most of them in practical engineering. Therefore, this research proposes to modify the original equation of the classical degree-day model to introduce the spatial and temporal variability of the degree-day factor. To evaluate the effects of the variability in the hydrological modeling and the snowmelt modeling at the cell and hillslope scale. We propose to introduce the spatial and temporal variability of the degree-day factor using maps of radiation indices. These maps consider the position of the sun according to the time of year, solar radiation, insolation, topography and shaded-relief topography. Our priority has been to keep the parsimony of the snowmelt model that can be implemented in high mountain basins with limited observed input. The snowmelt model was included as a new module in the TETIS distributed hydrological model. The results show significant improvements in hydrological modeling in the spring period when the snowmelt is more important. At cell and hillslope scale errors are diminished in the snowpack, improving the representation of the flows and storages that intervene in high mountain basins. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed degree-day snowmelt model; parsimonious hydrological modeling; TETIS model distributed degree-day snowmelt model; parsimonious hydrological modeling; TETIS model
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Orozco, I.; Francés, F.; Mora, J. Parsimonious Modeling of Snow Accumulation and Snowmelt Processes in High Mountain Basins. Water 2019, 11, 1288.

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