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Simulation of Snow Covers Area by a Physical based Model

Authors: Hossein Zeinivand, Florimond De Smedt


Snow cover is an important phenomenon in hydrology, hence modeling the snow accumulation and melting is an important issue in places where snowmelt significantly contributes to runoff and has significant effect on water balance. The physics-based models are invariably distributed, with the basin disaggregated into zones or grid cells. Satellites images provide valuable data to verify the accuracy of spatially distributed model outputs. In this study a spatially distributed physically based model (WetSpa) was applied to predict snow cover and melting in the Latyan dam watershed in Iran. Snowmelt is simulated based on an energy balance approach. The model is applied and calibrated with one year of observed daily precipitation, air temperature, windspeed, and daily potential evaporation. The predicted snow-covered area is compared with remotely sensed images (MODIS). The results show that simulated snow cover area SCA has a good agreement with satellite image snow cover area SCA from MODIS images. The model performance is also tested by statistical and graphical comparison of simulated and measured discharges entering the Latyan dam reservoir.

Keywords: satellite image, Physical based model, Snow covers

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