Title

S tellite and Geographic Information System Es imates of Colorado River Basin Snowpack

Abstract

Mountain snowmelt accounts for the majority of streamflow in many areas of the world. The timing and volume of this critical resource can be economically forecast for optimal use from satellite observations of spring snowpack. A geographic information system (GIS) was created for the Colorado River watershed to estimate snowpack water volume from topographic and satellite (AVHRR) data. Digital PC-based cloud removal techniques, a regression model, and the program SNOWPAC were developed to facilitate pixel-by-pixel snow water equivalent (SWE) estimates. The model, regressed on 312 satellite observations, predicts SNOTEL ground measured SWE with a correlation of 0.70. Given SWE prediction error averaging and complete two-dimensional basin-wide coverage at over 50,000 data locations, the satellite and GIS estimates point to improved snowmelt streamflow forecasting accuracy over conventional methods.

Department

Natural Resources and the Environment

Publication Date

11-1-1989

Journal Title

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing

Publisher

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Document Type

Article

Rights

©1989 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

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