The spatial and temporal variability of snowmelt runoff and soil moisture recharge within small watersheds must be quantified for use in distributed parameter snowmelt models. Snowmelt runoff, over-winter changes in soil moisture and soil temperatures were monitored over three annual snowmelt periods on two reclaimed watersheds in central Alberta, Canada. Slope aspect had a major influence on fall soil antecedent conditions and soil temperature. The south-facing slopes produced snowmelt the earliest, cleared of snow the soonest, yielded the least amount of runoff and had the greatest gain in over-winter soil moisture. Over-winter change in soil moisture was minimal when fall soil moisture levels were greater than 75% relative saturation. The power relationship between infiltration and snow-water equivalent of Granger et al. (1984) was not verified in this study, likely due to mid-winter melts that altered near-surface soil moisture and subsequently enhanced snowmelt runoff.
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Research Article| June 01 1998
Variability of Snowmelt Runoff and Soil Moisture Recharge
T.E. Harms, D. S. Chanasyk; Variability of Snowmelt Runoff and Soil Moisture Recharge. Hydrology Research 1 June 1998; 29 (3): 179–198. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.1998.0010
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