CH Marmot Creek Workshop – 21-22 February 2013

The Centre for Hydrology is organising a workshop to mark 50 years of academic activity at its Marmot Creek Research Basin, to be held from 21-22 February 2013 at the Coldwater Centre, Barrier Lake Biogeoscience Institute, near Kananaskis, Alberta.
This meeting will
– Celebrate the half-century of work at the Basin
– Review the challenges, designs and results of over this time, and
– Plan future scientific activities
Talks and posters are solicited on a range of topics: the abstract submission deadline is 15 January 2013.
More information is available here

CH Water Policy Expert on CBC

CBC News reported on a tour of the Columbia Icefields in the Canadian Rockies, led by Bob Sandford (EPCOR Chair for the Canadian Partnership Initiative of the United Nations Water for Life Decade and long-standing contributor to the Centre for Hydrology), on Wednesday 17 October 2012, as part of a conference titled Storm Warning – Water, Energy and Climate Security in a Changing World in Banff, Alberta.
His aim was to offer the group of leading water and climate scientists, engineers, risk managers, municipal planners and policy experts an opportunity to “see first-hand why we’re concerned about warming effects on the hydrological cycle”, as a result of climate change.
More detail about the field-trip and Sandford’s comments is available on the CBC website.

CH Director on Global Saskatoon

During an interview by Global Saskatoon, CH Director Prof. John Pomeroy talked about the likelihood of greater likelihood of rain and tornadoes, and of milder winters, as a result of a changing climate. He commented on the running in recent years of the Jet Stream at much higher latitudes than ever observed previously, which helps to pull moist, warm air north into the Prairies from the Gulf of Mexico. One principal problem with this is that Saskatchewan’s infrastructure has been built to cope with generally drier and colder conditions, and this poses challenges for the future.
Details of the interview are available on the Global web-site

Hydrology Seminar – Wednesday October 3rd, 11:30am

Dr Keith Musselman, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Hydrology, will present a seminar entitled
Inter-annual snow accumulation and melt patterns in forested and alpine terrain;
a case study from the Sierra Nevada, California

On Wednesday October 3rd, 2012, at 11:30am, in AGRI 1E85
Results are presented from a study of snowpack dynamics in the southern Sierra Nevada, California. The study area covers 1800 km2 and a 3600 m elevation gradient. The accuracy of a distributed snow model is evaluated against a multi-scale suite of field measurements including a network of snow depth sensors, basin-scale manual surveys, and airborne LiDAR. In general, the model accurately simulated the seasonal maximum snow depth and SWE at lower and middle elevations. The model overestimated SWE at upper elevations where wind effects are pronounced and no precipitation measurements were available. The SWE errors were partially explained (R2 > 0.80, p<0.01) by the distance of the SWE measurement from the nearest precipitation gauge. The results suggest that precipitation uncertainty and wind redistribution are both critical limitations on snow model accuracy, particularly at upper elevations. Analyses of snowmelt patterns highlight distinct differences in melt dynamics at lower, middle, and upper elevations. Specifically, forested middle elevations experienced the most sustained snowmelt at relatively low seasonal average melt rates (~ 5 mm day-1). This unique melt timing and rate may be critical to the local forest ecosystem. Furthermore, the three years evaluated in this study indicate a marked sensitivity of this elevation range to seasonal meteorology, suggesting that it could be highly sensitive to future changes in climate.