Snowmelt energy balance in a burned forest stand, Crowsnest Pass, Alberta

Thumbnail Image
Burles, Katie
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography, 2010
Forested watersheds in western North America are subject to significant change from natural and anthropogenic disturbance, including wildfire. Forest canopy changes have subsequent impacts on sub-canopy snow processes. A simple, process-based point energy balance model was developed to quantify differences in energy balance characteristics between a burned and a healthy forest stand. Potential model uncertainties were identified using sensitivity analyses. Simulated snowmelt accurately recreated measured snowmelt, providing confidence in the model’s ability to simulate energy balance processes in subcanopy environments where wind redistribution and sublimation are not major drivers of the local snowmelt energy balance. In the burned stand, sub-canopy snow accumulation was greater but melted more rapidly than in the healthy stand. The removal of forest canopy resulted in more energy available for snowmelt, including higher short-wave and lower long-wave radiation, and increased turbulent fluxes. Burned stands should be considered a separate land cover type in larger scale watershed models.
xii, 129 leaves : ill,, map ; 29 cm
Wildfires -- Environmental aspects -- Alberta -- Crowsnest Pass , Forest fires -- Environmental aspects -- Alberta -- Crowsnest Pass , Forest biodiversity -- Effect of fire on -- Research -- Alberta -- Crowsnest Pass , Lost Creek (Alta.) -- Fire, 2003 , Oldman River Watershed (Alta.) -- Research , Post-fire forest management -- Research -- Alberta -- Crowsnest Pass , Snow -- Thermal properties -- Research , Dissertations, Academic