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Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams

English title Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams
Applicant Zappa Massimiliano
Number 152506
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2017
Approved amount 194'680.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Meteorology

Keywords (3)

drought; snow; mountain hydrology

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
SREP-DROUGHT ist ein SCOPES-Projekt, in welcher Partners aus Georgien, der Tschechische Republik und der Schweiz zusammenarbeiten werden. Das Projekt befasst sich mit der Erfassung der Abhängigkeit der Sommer-Niedrigwasser und Sommer-Trockenzeiten durch die Winterschneedecke in den drei Einzugsgebieten Alp (Voralpen, Zentralschweiz), Kamenice (Isergebirge, Nordböhmen), und Gudjaretis-Tskali (Kleiner Kaukasus, Zentralgeorgien).Die Resultate werden die Möglichkeiten der GIS-basierten Niederschlag-Abfluss-Modelle verbessern, ihr Weiterentwicklungspotential durch den Einsatz in unterschiedlichen Einzugsgebieten erörtern. Oberzeil ist die Verbesserung der Vorhersage von Niedrigwasserperioden und Trockenheit in verschiedenen europäischen Gebirgsregionen.
Lay summary

SREP-DROUGHT befasst sich mit der Erfassung der Abhängigkeit der Sommer-Niedrigwasser und Sommer-Trockenzeiten durch die Winterschneedecke in den drei Einzugsgebieten Alpbach (Voralpen, Zentralschweiz), Kamenice (Isergebirge, Nordböhmen), und Gudjaretis-Tskali (Kleiner Kaukasus, Zentralgeorgien).

Zwei GIS-basierte Niederschlags-Abfluss-Modelle werden eine mehr als 10-jährige Abflussreihe simulieren. Dafür werden gemessene Daten zum Niederschlag und Schneefall sowie weiteren meteorologischen Variablen benötigt. Des weiteren verwenden die Modelle lokale Rauminformationen (Geländehöhe, Landbedeckung, Bodenkennwerte) und Kenntnisse der dominanten hydrologischen Prozesse, um den gegebenen Niederschlagsinput in Abfluss umzuwandeln. Zu diesen Prozessen gehören in unseren ausgewählten Einzugsgebieten insbesondere Schneeakkumulation und –ablation (Schneeschmelze), Verdunstung, Grundwasserneubildung, Grundwasserspeicherung bis zum Sommerabfluss. Diese Prozesse werden auch mithilfe von natürlichen Isotopen 18O und 2H untersucht.

Die gewonnenen Erkenntnisse werden zur Verbesserung der Modelle und somit zu besserer Abflusssimulation in schneedominierten Einzugsgebieten beitragen. Dieses Vorgehen wird in zwei unterschiedlichen Massstäbsebenen (kleines Einzugsgebiet: 1 – 2 km2; und grosses Einzugsgebiet: 100 – 200 km2) in allen drei Einzugsgebieten getestet.

Die Resultate werden die Möglichkeiten der GIS-basierten Niederschlag-Abfluss-Modelle verbessern, ihr Weiterentwicklungspotential durch den Einsatz in unterschiedlichen Einzugsgebieten erörtern. Oberzeil ist die Verbesserung der Vorhersage von Niedrigwasserperioden und Trockenheit in verschiedenen europäischen Gebirgsregionen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.04.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
SREP-DROUGHT is a collaborative SCOPES project that will be jointly realized by partner from Georgia, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. This project will evaluate how summer low flows and droughts are affected by winter snowpack in three catchments: Alp (Prealps, central Switzerland), Kamenice (Jizera Mountains, northern Czech Republic), and Gudjaretis-Tskali (Little Caucasus, central Georgia). The expected results will improve the performance of the GIS-based rainfall-runoff models, examine their potential of further development through comparison in different catchments, and allow better prediction of low flow periods in various mountain zones across Europe.
Lay summary

SREP-DROUGHT will evaluate how summer low flows and droughts are affected by winter snowpack in three catchments Alpbach (Prealps, central Switzerland), Kamenice (Jizera Mountains, northern Czech Republic), and Gudjaretis-Tskali (Little Caucasus, central Georgia).

Two GIS-based rainfall-runoff models will simulate more than 10 years of runoff in streams by means of measured rain- and snowfall, other meteorological variables. We also use information on the geographical settings (features) of the catchments and knowledge of the main hydrological processes involved that transform rainfall into streamflow. These processes in the selected mountainous catchments include snow accumulation and melt, evapotranspiration, recharge and subsurface storage until the summer outflow, and will be studied by means of environmental isotopes 18O and 2H. This knowledge will result in parameters such as contribution of snowmelt water in the streamflow and time the water spends in the underground between snowmelt recharge and outflow.

The obtained parameters will be employed for improvement of the models and therefore for a better simulation of runoff in snowmelt-dominated catchments. This approach will be tested at two catchment scales (small catchment 1-2 km2 and larger catchment 100-200 km2) in all three countries.

The results will improve the performance of the GIS-based rainfall-runoff models, examine their potential of further development through comparison in different catchments, and allow better prediction of low flow periods in various mountain zones across Europe.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.04.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
An Optimized Snowmelt Lysimeter System for Monitoring Melt Rates and Collecting Samples for Stable Water Isotope Analysis
Rücker Andrea, Zappa Massimiliano, Boss Stefan, Freyberg Jana von (2019), An Optimized Snowmelt Lysimeter System for Monitoring Melt Rates and Collecting Samples for Stable Water Isotope Analysis, in Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 67(1), 20-31.
Seasonal Subsurface Water Contributions to Baseflow in the Mountainous Uhlířská Catchment (Czech Republic)
Šanda Martin, Vitvar Tomáš, Jankovec Jakub (2019), Seasonal Subsurface Water Contributions to Baseflow in the Mountainous Uhlířská Catchment (Czech Republic), in Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 67(1), 41-48.
Thematic Issue on Snow Resources and Hydrological Cycle
Zappa Massimiliano, Holko Ladislav, Šanda Martin, Vitvar Tomáš, Parajka Juraj (2019), Thematic Issue on Snow Resources and Hydrological Cycle, in Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics, 67(1), 1-3.
Monitoring snowpack outflow volumes and their isotopic composition to better understand streamflow generation during rain-on-snow events
Rücker Andrea, Boss Stefan, Kirchner James W., von Freyberg Jana (2019), Monitoring snowpack outflow volumes and their isotopic composition to better understand streamflow generation during rain-on-snow events, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 1-37.
Rainwater propagation through snowpack during rain-on-snow sprinkling experiments under different snow conditions
Juras Roman, Würzer Sebastian, Pavlásek Jirka, Vitvar Tomás, Jonas Tobias (2017), Rainwater propagation through snowpack during rain-on-snow sprinkling experiments under different snow conditions, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences , 21, 4973-4987.
Impact of snow on drought Hydrological modelling of two mesoscale catchments and evaluation against field observations of runoff and environmental isotopes
Simon Marty (2017), Impact of snow on drought Hydrological modelling of two mesoscale catchments and evaluation against field observations of runoff and environmental isotopes, ETH Zürich, Zürich.
A fully automated meltwater monitoring and collection system for spatially distributed isotope analysis in snowmelt-dominated catchments
Rücker Andrea, Boss Stefan, Von Freyberg Jana, Zappa Massimiliano, Kirchner James (2016), A fully automated meltwater monitoring and collection system for spatially distributed isotope analysis in snowmelt-dominated catchments, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Göttingen, Germany.
Importance of maximum snow accumulation for summer low flows in humid catchments
Jenicek Michal, Seibert Jan, Zappa Massimiliano, Staudinger Maria, Jonas Tobias (2016), Importance of maximum snow accumulation for summer low flows in humid catchments, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20, 859-874.
Isotopic tracing of the outflow during artificial rain-on-snow event
Juras Roman, Pavlásek Jirka, Vitvar Tomáš, Šanda Martin, Holub Jirka, Jankovec Jakub, Linda Miloslav (2016), Isotopic tracing of the outflow during artificial rain-on-snow event, in Journal of Hydrology , 541, Part B, 1145-1154.
A Tri-National program for estimating the link between snow resources and hydrological droughts
Zappa Massimiliano, Vitvar Tomas, Rücker Andrea, Melikadze George, Bernhard Luzi, David Vaclav, Jans-Singh Melanie, Zhukova Natalia, Sanda Martin (2015), A Tri-National program for estimating the link between snow resources and hydrological droughts, in Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (PIAHS), Copernicus Publications, Göttingen, Germany.
Impact of snow on drought Intensification of isotope sampling in streamflow and precipitation in the Alptal: design and first evaluation
Jans-Singh Melanie (2015), Impact of snow on drought Intensification of isotope sampling in streamflow and precipitation in the Alptal: design and first evaluation, ETH Zürich, Master Thesis, Zürich.
Importance of maximum snow accumulation for summer low flows in humid catchments
Jenicek Michal (2015), Importance of maximum snow accumulation for summer low flows in humid catchments, in Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 12, 7023-7056.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Hydrometrie, Bundesamt für Umwelt Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Hydrology and Climate, University of Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Czech Technical University in Prague Czech Republic (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Tbilisi State University Georgia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
MeteoSwiss Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Polytech Montpellier, France France (Europe)
- Exchange of personnel
Physik v. Umweltsystemen, ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
SnowHydro Poster The quantification of snow meltwater in a snow - dominated catchment based on a spatially distributed isotope sampling network 12.02.2018 Heidelberg, Germany Rücker Andrea;
Water stable isotopes in the hydrological cycle Talk given at a conference The quantification of snow meltwater in a snow - dominated catchment base d on a spatially distributed isotope sampling network 16.10.2017 Hotel "Saigerhöh", Black Forest, Germany Rücker Andrea;
“Isotope - based studies of water partitioning and plant - soil interactions in forested and agricultural environments” Talk given at a conference A spatially distributed isotope sampling network in a snow - dominated catchment for the quantification of snow meltwater. 27.09.2017 Florence, Italy Rücker Andrea;
“Isotope - based studies of water partitioning and plant - soil interactions in forested and agricultural environments” Talk given at a conference Carbon isotope signatures in mountainous boreal headwater catchment. 27.09.2017 Florence, Italy Sanda Martin;
Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams Individual talk Spatial monitoring in the Alptal 01.06.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Rücker Andrea;
Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams Individual talk Monitoring in the Little Caucasus Mountains 01.06.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Melikadze George;
Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams Individual talk Monitoring & modelling in the Jizera Mountains 01.06.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Sanda Martin; Vitvar Tomas;
Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams Individual talk First modelling experiments 01.06.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Zappa Massimiliano;
Active participation, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017 Poster A spatially distributed isotope sampling network in a snow-dominated catchment for the quantification of snow meltwater 23.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Zappa Massimiliano; Rücker Andrea;
Aberdeen Catchment Science Summer School Poster A fully automated meltwater monitoring and collection system for spatially distributed isotope analysis in snowmelt-dominated catchments 22.08.2016 Aberdeen, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rücker Andrea;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016 Poster A fully automated meltwater monitoring and collection system for spatially distributed isotope analysis in snowmelt-dominated catchments 17.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Zappa Massimiliano; Rücker Andrea;
26th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Poster A Tri-National program for estimating the link between snow resources and hydrological droughts 22.06.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Zappa Massimiliano;
DOKTORANDENWORKSHOP ZUR HYDROLOGISCHEN MODELLIERUNG (AG HYDMOD) Individual talk Andrea Rücker (Swiss PhD) partecipated, 27.05.2015 München, Germany Zappa Massimiliano;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Snow resources and the early prediction of hydrological drought in mountainous streams 01.06.2017 Birmensdorf, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
125925 Early recognition of critical drought conditions in Switzerland - coping with shortages in soil moisture, groundwater and runoff (DROUGHT-CH) 01.01.2010 NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management

Abstract

The objective of the proposed project is to evaluate and predict the relationship between winter snowpack and summer low flows in three mountainous streams in central Switzerland (northern Prealps), northern Czech Republic (Jizera Mountains) and central Georgia (Little Caucasus). As this relationship has been commonly assessed by statistical approaches, little is known about the role of dominant processes snowmelt, groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration in the generation of summer and autumn low flows in mountainous streams across Europe. This proposal focuses first on the parallel application of the distributed hydrological rainfall-runoff models PREVAH and GSSHA in three nested mountainous catchments to simulate and predict the runoff response in different geographical settings. Second, the runoff generation from snow accumulation, snowmelt and groundwater recharge in the three streams will be investigated using environmental isotope methods. Third, the relations between anomalies in air temperature, aridity index, potential evapotranspiration and the runoff generation processes will be parameterized to allow for better simulation of low flows and mitigation of hydrological droughts. This approach builds on the recent Swiss applications of the model PREVAH and Czech applications of the model GSSHA and has a substantial innovative potential to be further developed through international cooperation, experimental work and parameterization of the models in different geographical settings. The modelling with PREVAH of all study areas will be conducted by the Swiss team and the modelling with GSSHA will be conducted by the Czech team. The experimental work on environmental isotopes will be conducted in parallel in all partner countries primarily using the laboratory facilities in the Czech Republic, supported by facilities in Switzerland and Georgia. The principal expected output of the project is an improved version of the model PREVAH that includes a better understanding of the role of snow in the generation of low flows and therefore allows for a better prediction of hydrological droughts in mountainous catchments. The application of the modelling approaches in different mountainous zones from the Prealps to the Little Caucasus will expand the understanding of how summer low flows and droughts are driven and how they can be mitigated.
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