• Modeling Snowmelt Flooding in the Upper Kuparuk Watershed
    • Kelsey Dean (M.S. student, WERC, CEM)
    • May 04, 2018
  • Image above: Upper Kuparuk River.
    Photo Credit: Kelsey Dean.

Snowmelt spring floods are the largest hydrologic event of the year in Arctic Alaska river systems. In the Arctic, sparse observational data and short periods of hydrometeorological records limit our ability to quantify trends in snow accumulation and snowmelt runoff for predicting the risk of snowmelt floods. However, WERC hydrometeorological monitoring programs in the Upper Kuparuk watershed have been operating since 1993, these records are now sufficient for statistical analysis. Significant variables were used to analyze trends and identify extreme years in snowmelt flooding including air temperature, snow water equivalent, peak discharge, and precipitation. Modeling of snowmelt runoff is conducted for the extreme year (2015) identified through statistical analysis. The physically based Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM) is applied to simulate Upper Kuparuk hydrograph using observational weather data and MODIS remote sensing products. The purpose of testing SRM in the Upper Kuparuk watershed is to provide insights and a set of recommendations to improved snowmelt runoff forecasting an d hydrologic modeling in data sparse areas across Alaska.

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Meeting ID: 191-329-792


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