This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Search for Publication

Year(s) from:  to 
Keywords (separated by spaces):

Satellite Data for Evaluation of Snow Reserves and Runoff Forecasts

K. Seidel, U. Burkart, R. Baumann, J. Martinec, H. Haefner and K. I. Itten
Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Christchurch, N.Z.
November 1989


Seasonal accumulation of snow and the subsequent snowmelt runoff are dominant features of alpine basins. Direct measurements of snow reserves are hampered by the difficult access and avalanche hazards in the remote parts of a mountain basin. During the snowmelt period, the snow covered area is gradually decreasing which affects the meltwater production. Satellite monitoring of snow cover enables the snow reserves to be indirectly evaluated. It also provides data on the changing areal extent of snow cover which facilitates the runoff forecasts. The areal water equivalent of snow on 1 April 1982 is evaluated from Landsat and NOAA data for the basins Ilanz (776 kms(2), 693-3614 m a.s.l.) and Tiefencastel (529 kms(2), 837-3418 m a.s.l.) in the Swiss alps to illustrate the regional anomalies. Likewise, based on satellite data a runoff simulation for April-September 1985 in the catchment area of the powerplant Tavanasa (215 kms(2), 1277-3210 m a.s.l.) illustrates the possibilities of operational discharge forecasts for a hydroelectric scheme.

Download in pdf format
  author = {K. Seidel and U. Burkart and R. Baumann and J. Martinec and H. Haefner and K. I. Itten},
  title = {Satellite Data for Evaluation of Snow Reserves and Runoff Forecasts},
  booktitle = {Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Christchurch, N.Z.},
  year = {1989},
  month = {November},
  pages = {24-27},
  keywords = {snow reserves, runoff forecasts, remote sensing}