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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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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.

Mattia Zaramella et al.
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Mattia Zaramella et al.
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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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