Evaporation and Snowmelt Estimates from Satellite Data


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by Woodruff Miller, Brigham Young Univ, Provo, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL):

Abstract: Satellite imagery has been used to estimate saltwater evaporation and snowmelt runoff. Water surface temperatures can be obtained from satellite thermal infrared data. Saltwater evaporation is determined by multiplying pan evaporation by a pan coefficient and a salt concentration-dependent salt coefficient. Temperatures and evaporation values on Great Salt Lake were correlated for various time periods and locations. Results indicate that this methodology of using satellite-derived water surface temperatures along with salt concentrations can be used to estimate lake evaporation. The Martinec-Rango Snowmelt-Runoff Model (SRM) uses snowcover derived from satellite imagery to develop snow depletion curves, and along with basin parameters and meterological data, runoff rates are simulated. The model was applied in the forecasting mode on the Sevier Basin in Utah with calibrated parameters, projected snow depletion curves, and predicted temperature and precipitation. With one to two months of calibration, the following three to four months of runoff have been forecasted with good correlation to the measured flowrates.

Subject Headings: Evaporation | Snow | Snowmelt | Hydrologic data | Satellites | Aerial photography | Salt water | Temperature effects | Runoff | Water surface | Utah | North America | United States

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