A simple numerical method for snowmelt simulation based on the equation of heat energy

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper presents one-dimensional numerical model for snowmelt/accumulation simulations, based on the equation of heat energy. It is assumed that the snow column is homogeneous at the current time step; however, its characteristics such as snow density and thermal conductivity are treated as functions of time. The equation of heat energy for snow column is solved using the implicit finite difference method. The incoming energy at the snow surface includes the following parts: conduction, convection, radiation and the raindrop energy. Along with the snow melting process, the model includes a model for snow accumulation. The Euler method for the numerical integration of the balance equation is utilized in the proposed model. The model applicability is demonstrated at the meteorological station Zlatibor, located in the western region of Serbia at 1,028 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.) Simulation results of snowmelt/accumulation suggest that the proposed model achieved better agreement with observed data in comparison with the temperature index method. The proposed method may be utilized as part of a deterministic hydrological model in order to improve short and long term predictions of possible flood events.

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