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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of MERRA-2 and ERA5 to Model the Snow Water Equivalent in the High Atlas (1981–2019)

1
Center for Remote Sensing Application (CRSA), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
2
Water Resources Management and Valorization and Remote Sensing Team (GEVARET), Faculty of Sciences and Technics, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni Mellal 23000, Morocco
3
CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/IRD/INRA/UPS, 31400 Toulouse, France
4
Laboratoire de Géosciences, Géoenvironnement et Génie Civil, Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques Guéliz /Université Cadi Ayyad, Av. A. Khattabi, BP 549, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis Gimeno
Water 2021, 13(7), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070890
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 21 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 24 March 2021
Melt water runoff from seasonal snow in the High Atlas range is an essential water resource in Morocco. However, there are only few meteorological stations in the high elevation areas and therefore it is challenging to estimate the distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) based only on in situ measurements. In this work we assessed the performance of ERA5 and MERRA-2 climate reanalysis to compute the spatial distribution of SWE in the High Atlas. We forced a distributed snowpack evolution model (SnowModel) with downscaled ERA5 and MERRA-2 data at 200 m spatial resolution. The model was run over the period 1981 to 2019 (37 water years). Model outputs were assessed using observations of river discharge, snow height and MODIS snow-covered area. The results show a good performance for both MERRA-2 and ERA5 in terms of reproducing the snowpack state for the majority of water years, with a lower bias using ERA5 forcing. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow cover; snow water equivalent; Morocco; MERRA-2; ERA5 snow cover; snow water equivalent; Morocco; MERRA-2; ERA5
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baba, M.W.; Boudhar, A.; Gascoin, S.; Hanich, L.; Marchane, A.; Chehbouni, A. Assessment of MERRA-2 and ERA5 to Model the Snow Water Equivalent in the High Atlas (1981–2019). Water 2021, 13, 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070890

AMA Style

Baba MW, Boudhar A, Gascoin S, Hanich L, Marchane A, Chehbouni A. Assessment of MERRA-2 and ERA5 to Model the Snow Water Equivalent in the High Atlas (1981–2019). Water. 2021; 13(7):890. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070890

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baba, Mohamed W.; Boudhar, Abdelghani; Gascoin, Simon; Hanich, Lahoucine; Marchane, Ahmed; Chehbouni, Abdelghani. 2021. "Assessment of MERRA-2 and ERA5 to Model the Snow Water Equivalent in the High Atlas (1981–2019)" Water 13, no. 7: 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13070890

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