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Snow covered area (SCA) observations from the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) were used in combination with a distributed snowmelt model to estimate snow water equivalent (SWE) in the headwaters of the Rio Grande basin (3,419 km2) - a spatial scale that is an order of magnitude greater than previous reconstruction model applications. In this reconstruction approach, modeled snowmelt over each pixel is integrated over the time of ETM+ observed snow cover to estimate SWE. Considerable differences in the magnitude of SWE were simulated during the study. Basin-wide mean SWE was 2�6 times greater in April 2001 versus 2002. Despite these climatological differences, the model adequately recovered SWE at intensive...
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This data release includes simulation output from SnowModel (Liston and Elder, 2006), a well-validated process-based snow modeling system, and supporting snow, meteorological, and streamflow observations from the water years 2011 through 2015 (October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2015) across a 3,600 square kilometer model domain in the north-central Colorado Rocky Mountains. For each water year, SnowModel simulations were completed for a (1) baseline simulation, (2) bark-beetle disturbance condition simulation, (3) 2016 - 2035 future climate condition simulation (S1), and (4) 2046 - 2065 future climate condition simulation (S2). Sexstone and others (2018) provide details and summarize findings from each of the...
Dust in snow accelerates snowmelt through its direct reduction of albedo and its further reduction of albedo by accelerating the growth of snow effective grain size. Since the Anglo expansion and disturbance of the western US that began in the mid 19th century, the mountain snow cover of the Colorado River Basin has been subject to five-fold greater dust loading. This research expands on the work done in Painter et al. (2007) by assessing the interannual variability in radiative forcing, melt rates, and shortening of snow cover duration from 2005 to 2010, and the relative response of melt rates to simulated increases in air temperature. We ran the SNOBAL snowmelt model over the 6 year energy balance record at the...
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This data release contains historical SnowModel (Liston and Elder, 2006) output for the Crown of the Continent and surrounding areas in Montana and Idaho, USA; and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada from September 1, 1981 through August 31, 2020. Fifteen daily variables were simulated or derived for this release: (1) snow water equivalent (swed), (2) liquid precipitation (rpre), (3) solid precipitation (spre), (4) albedo (albd), (5) glacial ice melt (glmt), (6) total precipitation (prec), (7) runoff (roff), (8) snow covered area (sca), (9) snow density (sden), (10) snowmelt (smlt), (11) snow depth (snod), (12) snow sublimation (ssub), (13) air temperature (tair), (14) wind speed (wspd), and (15) wind direction...
The loss of snow cover and the initiation of streamflow are key triggers for both terrestrial and aquatic biota. Landscape-scale snowmelt and streamflow dynamics are difficult to estimate, however, because they integrate large spatial extents and can vary rapidly in time. Remotely sensed observations are often temporally discontinuous and point observations lack sufficient spatial density (e.g. point measures from data-logging piezometers). In this study, we employ inexpensive temperature/light sensors to monitor the distribution of snowmelt and headwater stream discharge as a proxy for hydrological state of the landscape with high spatial and temporal resolution. This study was conducted at the Redondo Peak, a...
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This data release contains daily gridded data reflecting surface water input from rainfall, rain on snow (mixed), and snowmelt for the conterminous United States for water years 1990 to 2023 (1990/10/01 to 2023/09/30). This release also contains annual estimates of gridded input seasonality (an index reflecting whether surface water input occurs within a concentrated period or is equally distributed throughout the year), precipitation seasonality, average snowmelt, rainfall and rain on snow rates, and finally, annual totals of each input type. Average snowmelt, rainfall and rain on snow rates were computed using days where values were greater than zero. Daily data were generated using precipitation input from the...
Mercury (Hg) was measured in stream water and precipitation in the Loch Vale watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, during 2001–2002 to investigate processes controlling Hg transport in high-elevation ecosystems. Total Hg concentrations in precipitation ranged from 2.6 to 36.2 ng/L and showed a strong seasonal pattern with concentrations that were 3 to 4 times higher during summer months. Annual bulk deposition of Hg was 8.3 to 12.4 μ g/m2 and was similar to deposition rates in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. Total Hg concentrations in streams ranged from 0.8 to 13.5 ng/L and were highest in mid-May on the rising limb of the snowmelt hydrograph. Stream-water Hg was positively correlated with dissolved...
There are a number of ways that climate change is beginning to impact wildlife. Temperature increases and changes in precipitation can directly affect species, depending on their physiology and tolerance of environmental changes. Climate change can also alter a species' food supply or its reproductive timing, which indirectly affecting its fitness. Understanding these interactions is an important step in developing management strategies to help species survive the changing climate.
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This data release contains historical SnowModel (Liston and Elder, 2006) output for the Crown of the Continent and surrounding areas in Montana and Idaho, USA; and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada from September 1, 1981 through August 31, 2020. Fifteen daily variables were simulated or derived for this release: (1) snow water equivalent (swed), (2) liquid precipitation (rpre), (3) solid precipitation (spre), (4) albedo (albd), (5) glacial ice melt (glmt), (6) total precipitation (prec), (7) runoff (roff), (8) snow covered area (sca), (9) snow density (sden), (10) snowmelt (smlt), (11) snow depth (snod), (12) snow sublimation (ssub), (13) air temperature (tair), (14) wind speed (wspd), and (15) wind direction...
The Sleepers River Research Watershed, near Danville, Vermont, is a 111-square-kilometer watershed established in 1958 by the Agricultural Research Service.The research watershed has since been operated by three other federal agencies: National Weather Service, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). USGS started at the site in collaboration with CRREL in 1991 and has been the sole operating entity since 2000. From 1991 to 2017, the research watershed was part of the national 5-site network of the USGS Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB) program. Since 2017 Sleepers has been funded by USGS Land Change Science to continue the core measurements...
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Note: This data release has been deprecated. Please see new data release here: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9A4FVZ4. The data presented here was collected adjacent to USGS stream gage 06730200 and includes both observed and modeled values. Dissolved oxygen, dissolved carbon dioxide, stream depth, water temperature, and light intensity were collected via passive water quality sensors. Modeled values include gross primary production, ecosystem respiration, net ecosystem production, reaeration, and light (when observed values were unavailable). Modeled values were obtained through streamMetabolizer, a USGS-sponsored R-package for estimating rates of stream metabolism. Estimates for carbon dioxide flux utilized both modeled...
Mercury (Hg) was measured in stream water and precipitation in the Loch Vale watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, during 2001–2002 to investigate processes controlling Hg transport in high-elevation ecosystems. Total Hg concentrations in precipitation ranged from 2.6 to 36.2 ng/L and showed a strong seasonal pattern with concentrations that were 3 to 4 times higher during summer months. Annual bulk deposition of Hg was 8.3 to 12.4 μ g/m2 and was similar to deposition rates in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. Total Hg concentrations in streams ranged from 0.8 to 13.5 ng/L and were highest in mid-May on the rising limb of the snowmelt hydrograph. Stream-water Hg was positively correlated...
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Snow cover duration in a seasonally snow covered mountain range (San Juan Mountains, USA) was found to be shortened by 18 to 35 days during ablation through surface shortwave radiative forcing by deposition of disturbed desert dust. Frequency of dust deposition and radiative forcing doubled when the Colorado Plateau, the dust source region, experienced intense drought (8 events and 39?59 Watts per square meter in 2006) versus a year with near normal precipitation (4 events and 17?34 Watts per square meter in 2005). It is likely that the current duration of snow cover and surface radiation budget represent a dramatic change from those before the widespread soil disturbance of the western US in the late 1800s that...
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The waters of the Colorado River serve 27 million people in seven states and two countries but are overallocated by more than 10% of the river's historical mean. Climate models project runoff losses of 7-20% from the basin in this century due to human-induced climate change. Recent work has shown however that by the late 1800s, decades prior to allocation of the river's runoff in the 1920s, a fivefold increase in dust loading from anthropogenically disturbed soils in the southwest United States was already decreasing snow albedo and shortening the duration of snow cover by several weeks. The degree to which this increase in radiative forcing by dust in snow has affected timing and magnitude of runoff from the Upper...
Past research has suggested that during the calving period, caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Arctic Alaska generally avoid areas within 1 km of oilfield roads with traffic. However, avoidance is not absolute, and caribou may habituate to infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, well pads) and human activity. We conducted road-based surveys of caribou in oilfields on Alaska’s Arctic Coastal Plain during the late calving and post-calving periods of June in 2000– 02. We recorded location, composition, and behavior of caribou groups located less than 1 km from active gravel roads and production pads. Caribou groups with calves were on average distributed farther from oilfield infrastructure than were groups without calves,...
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On May 25, 2014, a rain-on-snow induced rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek Valley on the northern flank of Grand Mesa in western Colorado. The avalanche traveled 4.6 km down the confined valley, killing 3 people. The avalanche was rare for the contiguous U.S. because of its large size (54.5 Mm3) and long travel distance. To understand the avalanche failure sequence, mechanisms, and mobility, we mapped landslide structures, geology, and ponds at 1:1000-scale. We used high-resolution, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) imagery from July 2014 as a base for our field mapping. Here we present the map data and UAS imagery. The data accompany an interpretive paper published in the journal Geosphere. The full citation...
In the Central Rocky Mountains, snowfall dominates precipitation. Airborne contaminants retained in the snowpack can affect high elevation surface water chemistry during snowmelt. At the Fraser Experimental Forest (FEF), located west of the Continental Divide in Central Colorado, snowmelt dominates the annual hydrograph, and accounts for >95% of annual stream water discharge. During the winters of 1989?1993, we measured precipitation inputs, snowpack water equivalent (SWE) and ion content, and stream water chemistry every 7?10 days along a 3150?3500 m elevation gradient in the subalpine and alpine Lexen Creek watershed. The study objectives were to (1) quantify the distribution of SWE and snowpack chemical content...
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The data presented here contain quasi-event hydrologic response characteristics for quickflow response intervals (QRIs) calculated at 57 USGS GAGES-II reference watersheds in the western US. Each row in the attached csv contains characteristics for an individual QRI at one site. QRI characteristics include duration, antecedent flow, input, input rate,peak flow, potential evapotranspiration, quickflow, and quickflow/input (effectively a runoff ratio). This data release supports the publication "Sub-annual streamflow responses to rainfall and snowmelt inputs in snow-dominated watersheds of the western U.S." in Water Resources Research.
Past research has suggested that during the calving period, caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Arctic Alaska generally avoid areas within 1 km of oilfield roads with traffic. However, avoidance is not absolute, and caribou may habituate to infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, well pads) and human activity. We conducted road-based surveys of caribou in oilfields on Alaska’s Arctic Coastal Plain during the late calving and post-calving periods of June in 2000– 02. We recorded location, composition, and behavior of caribou groups located less than 1 km from active gravel roads and production pads. Caribou groups with calves were on average distributed farther from oilfield infrastructure than were groups without calves,...


map background search result map search result map Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover Response of Colorado River runoff to dust radiative forcing in snow Map data and Unmanned Aircraft System imagery from the May 25, 2014 West Salt Creek rock avalanche in western Colorado Catchment-flowline network and selected model inputs for an enhanced and updated spatially referenced statistical assessment of dissolved-solids load sources and transport in streams of the Upper Colorado River Basin SnowModel simulations and supporting observations for the north-central Colorado Rocky Mountains during water years 2011 through 2015 Aqueous chemistry database, Sleepers River Research Watershed, Danville, Vermont, 1991-2018 Sub-annual streamflow responses to rainfall and snowmelt inputs in snow-dominated watersheds of the western U.S. Modeled Stream Metabolism in Boulder Creek near Boulder, CO (2016 - 2018) Historical simulated snowpack and other hydrometeorology data at 90 m for the Crown of the Continent and vicinity, United States and Canada, water years 1981-2020 Daily time series of surface water input from rainfall, rain on snow, and snowmelt for the Conterminous United States from 1990 to 2023, as well as annual series of input seasonality, precipitation seasonality, and average rainfall, rain on snow, and snowmelt rates HUC12-Monthly Summaries Modeled Stream Metabolism in Boulder Creek near Boulder, CO (2016 - 2018) Map data and Unmanned Aircraft System imagery from the May 25, 2014 West Salt Creek rock avalanche in western Colorado Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover SnowModel simulations and supporting observations for the north-central Colorado Rocky Mountains during water years 2011 through 2015 Historical simulated snowpack and other hydrometeorology data at 90 m for the Crown of the Continent and vicinity, United States and Canada, water years 1981-2020 HUC12-Monthly Summaries Response of Colorado River runoff to dust radiative forcing in snow Catchment-flowline network and selected model inputs for an enhanced and updated spatially referenced statistical assessment of dissolved-solids load sources and transport in streams of the Upper Colorado River Basin Sub-annual streamflow responses to rainfall and snowmelt inputs in snow-dominated watersheds of the western U.S. Daily time series of surface water input from rainfall, rain on snow, and snowmelt for the Conterminous United States from 1990 to 2023, as well as annual series of input seasonality, precipitation seasonality, and average rainfall, rain on snow, and snowmelt rates