Snowpack Modeling

Client Name and Contact Information:

dR. rAND dECKER; Rand.Decker@nau.edu

Team Name and Contact Information: SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT MODELING

tEAM mEMBERS:†† jOSH sTACKHOUSE, bRIAN rOHDE, rYANPEARSON††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

cONTACT INFO:†††† JS857@NAU.EDU (jOSH), bR267@NAU.EDU(BRIAN), rDP48@NAU.EDU (RYAN)

Description: C:\Users\bnb\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\2C90101C\Team snow modeling capstone 2012.JPGFrom left: Brian Rohde, Ryan Pearson, Josh Stackhouse

Project Description

Snowpack modeling has become an essential component in forecasting snowmelt runoff.In this project our team will use a model that was developed to determine the total storage capacity of a drainage basin from a remote location.This model was developed in 2010 by Sam Heffelfinger, and Kevin Werbylo, NAU students.Currently, the model is difficult to operate and requires extensive knowledge about the program.The purpose of this project is to simplify the previously developed model to allow large companies to use it as a first approximation of the expected runoff from snowpack storage.Aside from simplifying the model, our team must be able to successfully run the model and perform case studies on snowpack watersheds of equal acreage.This project is being done in order to compare different locations snowmelt runoff potential using only the Excel program and digital elevation models (DEM).The Excel program could be used by interested parties in modeling large water retention projects, such as cities relying on drainage from snowmelt.

Scope of work

Examining Snow Water Equivalency (SWE) is a large consideration for many different scenarios in where to build new communities and where the new communities will get their water.†† In determining if a new community can use a drainage basin as its source for water certain questions must be answered before money will be invested.The existing program developed by Sam Heffelfinger and Kevin Werbylo attempts to answer one of the larger questions, which is how much water, is stored in the basin of interest.By obtaining elevation data along with evaporation potential, the model allows for a relatively quick analysis of a drainage basin from a remote location using GIS software and the spreadsheet based model.

Project Deliverables

For this project there are specific deliverables which will be completed for this project.These deliverables include;

         Userís Manual for Model from acquisition of DEM to final product

o   This will be for future use of the model. This model requires the user to use two different programs, ARCMap and Excel, as well as some advanced techniques in Excel.A userís manual will assist those hoping to use this model in the future, while eliminating the steep learning curve.The map will also include a tutorial to walk the user through the process.

         ďUser FriendlinessĒ of the model

o   This model, in its current state, is not ready for someone unfamiliar to ARCMap and Excel to use.Our deliverable is to make this model more user-friendly by eliminating some of the steps and utilizing more of the ARCMap software.Currently the user needs to be well versed in Visual Basic Language, used by Excel.ARCMap can be used to eliminate some of the need for the more complex Excel language.Coupled with the userís manual, ARCMap will become the more utilized part of the modeling process and Excel will be used for some simple calculations at the end.

         Document differences in findings for two basins with the same elevation two basins with different elevations and to basins with SNOWTEL sites.

o   Once the DEMs of interest have been identified and the model has been run on each of them.†† Our group will report on our findings of each of the drainage basins.

o   One set of drainage basins will have similar area, another will have similar starting and ending elevations and the last two will have stream gauges at the bottoms to develop how much water actually exits the drainage basin in comparison to how much the basin theoretically should produce, according to our model.

o   The deliverables for this will come in the form of a report and some visual aids as well as a presentation to the client.