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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-202
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 23 Aug 2018

Model description paper | 23 Aug 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

TOPMELT 1.0: A topography-based distribution function approach to snowmelt simulation for hydrological modelling at basin scale

Mattia Zaramella1, Marco Borga1, Davide Zoccatelli1, and Luca Carturan1,2 Mattia Zaramella et al.
  • 1Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padua, Padova, 35020, Italy
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Padua, Padova, 35131, Italy

Abstract. Enhanced temperature-index distributed models for snowpack simulation, incorporating air temperature and a term for clear sky potential solar radiation, are increasingly used to simulate the spatial variability of the snow water equivalent. This paper presents a new snowpack model (termed TOPMELT) which integrates an enhanced temperature index model into a lumped basin scale hydrological model by exploiting a statistical representation of the distribution of clear sky potential solar radiation. This is obtained by discretising the full spatial distribution of clear sky potential solar radiation into a number of radiation classes. The computation required to generate a spatially distributed water equivalent reduces to a single calculation for each radiation class. This turn into a potentially significant advantage when parameter sensitivity and uncertainty estimation procedures are carried out. The model includes a routine, which accounts for the variability of clear sky radiation distributions with time, ensuring a consistent temporal simulation of the snow mass balance. Thus, the model resembles a classical temperature-index model when only one radiation class for each elevation band is used, whereas it approximates a fully distributed model with increasing the number of the radiation classes (and correspondingly decreasing the area corresponding to each class). TOPMELT is applied over the Aurino basin at S. Giorgio, a 614 km\textsuperscript{2} catchment in the Upper Adige river basin (Eastern Alps, Italy) to examine the sensitivity of the snowpack model results to the temporal and spatial aggregation of the radiation fluxes.

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This paper presents TOPMELT, a parsimonious snowpack simulation model integrated into a basin scale hydrological model. TOPMELT implements the full spatial distribution of clear sky potential solar radiation by means of a statistical representation: this approach reduces computational burden, which is a key potential advantage when parameter sensitivity and uncertainty estimation procedures are carried out. The model is assessed by examining different resolutions of its domain.
This paper presents TOPMELT, a parsimonious snowpack simulation model integrated into a basin...
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