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Modelling climate change impacts on mountain snow hydrology, Montana-Alberta

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dc.contributor.advisor Byrne, James
dc.contributor.author Larson, Robert
dc.contributor.author University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
dc.date.accessioned 2008-09-26T14:53:50Z
dc.date.available 2008-09-26T14:53:50Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10133/669
dc.description xii, 136 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. -- en
dc.description.abstract A modelling approach focused on snow hydrology was developed and applied to project future changes in spring streamflow volumes in the St. Mary River headwaters basin, Montana. A spatially distributed, physically-based, hydrometeorological and snow mass balance model was refined and used to produce snow water equivalent (SWE) and rainfall surfaces for the study watershed. Snowmelt runoff (SR) and effective rainfall runoff (RR) volumes were compiled for the 1961-2004 historical period. A statistical regression model was developed linking spring streamflow volume (QS) at Babb, Montana to the SR and RR modelled data. The modelling results indicated that SR explained 70% of the variability in QS while RR explained another 9%. The model was applied to climate change scenarios representing the expected range of future change to produce annual QS for the period 2010-2099. Compared to the base period (1961-1990), average QS change ranged from -3% to -12% for the 2020s period. Percent changes increased to between -25% and -32% for the 2050s, and -38% and -55% for the 2080s. Decreases in QS also accompanied substantial advances in the onset of spring snowmelt. Whereas the spring pulse onset on average occurred on April 8 for the base period, it occurred 36 to 50 days earlier during the 2080s. The findings suggest that increasing precipitation will not compensate for the effects of increasing temperature in watershed SWE and associated spring runoff generation. There are implications for stakeholder interests related to ecosystems, the irrigation industry, and recreation. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2008 en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Thesis (University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science) en
dc.subject Dissertations, Academic en
dc.subject Electronic dissertations en
dc.subject Snowpack augmentation -- Rocky Mountains en
dc.subject Climatic changes en
dc.subject St. Mary River Basin (Montana) en
dc.subject Global warming en
dc.subject Rocky Mountains -- Climate en
dc.subject Snow -- Rocky Mountains en
dc.subject Runoff -- Montana -- St. Mary River Basin en
dc.subject Streamflow -- Montana -- St. Mary River Basin en
dc.title Modelling climate change impacts on mountain snow hydrology, Montana-Alberta en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.publisher.faculty Arts and Science en
dc.publisher.department Department of Geography en

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