Modelling the spatial characteristics of hydrometeorology in the Upper Oldman River Basin, Alberta

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Sheppard, Dennis Leslie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 1996
A characteristic of alpine drainage basins is the very sparse distribution of meteorological recording stations. This study models a contiguous distribution of microclimate and snowpack accumulation in the upper Oldman River basin. To accomplish this goal, gaps between weather recording stations are first filled using a modified MTCLIM climate simulation model in conjunction with the spatial analysis capabilities of the PAMAP geographic information system (GIS). The GIS provides terrain information such as elevation, slope, and aspect on a 100 metre grid as input into the microclimate simulator which, in turn, outputs daily meteorological conditions for a user-defined period of time. The estimation of snowpack accumaltion is achieved with another component of the model which makes use of the modelled microclimate to calculate daily accumulation and ablation on a grid point basis. Simulation results are returned to the GIS for display and spatial analysis. Discussion includes such thngs as the grouping of terrain variables and the derivation of an altitudinal precipitation profile, both of which are required for computational efficiency. While regression analysis indicates a very close relationship between observed and simulated temperature, precipitation is less successfully modelled at the daily time scale. Comparisons of simulated temperature with observed data resulted in an r2 + .94 and are therefore considered very reliable. Daily precipitation comparisons initially indicated a low correlation between observed and simulated data. However, when monthly totals are considered instead, r2 rises to 0.66. When snopack conditions are simulated for several snow pillows in the region, regression analysis with observed data producers r2 values as high as 0.896.
xi, 178 leaves : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
Hydrometeorology -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Water resources development -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Hydrology -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Meteorology -- Alberta -- Oldman River Basin , Dissertations, Academic