A model for the snow water equivalent derived from stratigraphy observations in northern Sweden

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A new parameterization of snow water equivalent (SWE) based on snow depth (HS) has been developed from observations made in northern Sweden. When applying previous SWE parameterization from the Alps on observations from northern Sweden, the SWE values are systematically 20% lower. The new SWE parameterization is derived from a snow layer density regression model using snow layer hardness and snow particle size. The model was evaluated with a detailed field reference dataset, and then applied to the long-term Abisko Scientific Research Station stratigraphic snowpack dataset. The model enables a regional adjustment of snow layer density values for northern Swedish conditions. The snow layer density model provides an accurate estimation of snow bulk density used to derive the SWE parameterization based solely on HS. Snow depth observations are made on a daily basis; by applying our new parameterization, daily values of SWE can be obtained for northern Scandinavian conditions, which can be used, for example, for hydropower production planning and risk assessments.

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