Monitoring the Snowpack in Remote, Ungauged Mountains from Satellite and Computers

Speaker  Jeff Dozier

Affiliation  University of California, Santa Barbara

Host  Dan Fay

Duration  00:48:07

Date recorded  5 September 2013

The objective is to estimate seasonal snow volumes, relative to historical trends and extremes, in snow-dominated mountains that have austere infrastructure, sparse gauging, challenges of accessibility, and emerging or enduring insecurity related to water resources. The world's mountains accumulate substantial snow and, in some areas, produce the bulk of the runoff. In ranges like Afghanistan's Hindu Kush, availability of water resources affects US policy, military and humanitarian operations, and national security. The rugged terrain makes surface measurements difficult and also affects the analysis of remotely sensed data. My approach combines optical imagery, passive microwave data, and retrospective reconstruction with energy balance calculations.

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