SnowHydro Conference on Snow Hydrology – Challenges in Mountain Areas

SnowHydro will take place in Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), at Eurac research, from Tuesday 28thJanuary to Friday 31st January 2020.

SnowHydro – International Conference on Snow Hydrology – Challenges in Mountain Areas

On Jan 30th, an affiliated workshop will enable participants to engage together towards an IPCC-related summary paper. On Jan 31th, a field trip will be organized.

Snow is an important component of the hydrologic cycle. The seasonal storage of water in the snowpack may last over months, and its delayed release is a major factor in guaranteeing a reliable water supply for ecosystems and human needs during dry periods. On the other hand, rapid snowmelt can cause destruction through sudden floods, mostly in combination with rainfall.

The spatial heterogeneity of snow accumulation and ablation in complex terrain is as a result of multiple processes, and accurate snow cover estimations remain a challenge. Increasing air temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, driven by climate change, will modify snow conditions and thus lead to changing water supplies. The consequences of reduced snow duration and the fact that rain will make up an increasing share of overall precipitation will completely change the hydrology of many regions and may lead to severe water problems.

Traditional snow measuring methods provide accurate information at the point scale, but they lack spatial coverage. Latest remote sensing techniques on the other hand are able to monitor the snowpack over large spatial domains, but may be limited by temporal resolution and are often biased. Hydrological models require reliable input data, but the availability of such data is particularly limited for mountainous regions. The simulation of snowmelt often lacks sufficient spatial and temporal detail, so that the forecasting of snowmelt runoff for operational purposes is still a challenging task.

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