C12 Coupling Processes between the Atmospheric Boundary-Layer and Snow/Ice Surfaces: Observations and Modelling

IACS (Cryosphere)

27-Jun-2015, 15:00 - 16:30

Abstract content:

Mass balance and runoff simulations for glacierized catchments in the Ötztal Alps (Austria)

Assessing the amount of water resources stored in mountain catchments as snow and ice as well as the timing of meltwater production and the resulting runoff is of high interest for glaciological and hydrological applications and hydropower production. With the project MUSICALS (Multiscale Snow/Icemelt Discharge Simulations into Alpine Reservoirs) an attempt is made to identify and quantify water availability and runoff in alpine headwater catchments for time scales ranging from mid- to long-term (seasonal predictions to climate scenarios).

The hydroclimatological, process-based model AMUNDSEN is set up to simulate the energy balance at snow and ice surfaces, the glacier mass balance, and runoff for the catchments of the Gepatsch reservoir (Ötztal Alps, Austria). In AMUNDSEN, different types of snow and ice layers are distinguished and their distinct properties are accounted for. The initial ice thickness distribution is modeled with the digital elevation model and glacier outlines from the Austrian glacier inventory 1997. Meteorological forcing fields are derived by interpolating station recordings, while a novel parameterization for wind-induced snow redistribution based on topographic openness is applied to accurately describe the heterogeneous snow distribution in high Alpine terrain. Discharge generation from calculated meltwater production and precipitation is simulated using a linear reservoir cascade model.

Model performance is evaluated by comparing snow cover distributions derived from airborne laserscan measurements, as well as using glacier mass balance and runoff observations. As part of future research, a glacier evolution model will be coupled to the hydroclimatological model in order to apply the model framework for climate change scenarios.

F. Hanzer1, K. Helfricht2, T. Marke3, M. Huttenlau1, U. Strasser3.
1alpS, Area Water, Innsbruck, Austria.
2Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, Innsbruck, Austria.
3University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geography, Innsbruck, Austria.


mass balance modelling     snow redistribution     airborne laserscanning