Estimation of Snowmelt Contribution for Kalam Catchment

Muhammad Umar, Abdul Sattar Shakir, Habib -ur- Rehman


Snowmelt flows are key source for river discharges that is used for agriculture, hydropower generation and domestic use in snow-fed regions. Nature has sanctified Pakistan with the frozen peaks of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) in the northern part of the country. Mountain ranges receive heavy snowfall in winter playing a dynamic role in water supply estimation and management. Flows in Kalam catchment are mainly generated due to snowmelt. Since foreseeing and understanding the time-space variation of snow magnitude plays an important role in watershed hydrology, it is necessary to simulate snow accretion and melt precisely. Due to the availability of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for snowcover area and Rainfall Estimates (RFE) for precipitation records, it is now possible to identify the portion of the snowmelt that may contribute to the flood hydroghraph. The investigation of MODIS snow product (MOD10A1) for the past 14 years (2000-2013) record shows an average snow cover variation in Kalam Catchment ranges from 5% to 99% in September & March, respectively. A correlation is developed between RFE and Kalam rainfall station by extracting the pixel information of RFE coming over the Kalam station showing a monthly and yearly (2000-2012) correlation coefficient of 0.70 & 0.77, respectively. The research employs, water balance approach and SRM for estimating snow melt contribution (Snowmelt Runoff Model). Results from water balance approach gives an overall snowmelt contribution of 65% with an average groundwater and average rainfall runoff contribution as 19% and 16% respectively. The SRM is well calibrated and validated using regular stream flow 2000 to 2012 (average correlation coefficient for Calibration ~0.95 & for validation ~0.89, annual volume bias<6.5%). Snowmelt from SRM is estimated by separating rainfall days on basis of critical temperature. Results of the study reveals that average snowmelt contribution in the Kalam is about 72%, whereas, average contribution from rainfall is 17%. Results from conventional method is compared with SRM to inspect and assess the performance of a model in the Kalam catchment.

Full Text:



JICA report (2000), Feasibility study on the development of Munda dam multipurpose project in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Singh, P., Jain, S. K., & Kumar, N. (1997). Estimation of snow and glacier-melt contribution to the Chenab River, Western Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development, 49-56.

Chyurlia, J. P. (1983) Water Resources Report, Nepal Land Resources Mapping Project. Renting Earth Sciences Limited, Ottawa

Lim, K. J., Engel, B. A., Tang, Z., Choi, J., Kim, K. S., Muthukrishnan, S., & Tripathy, D. (2005). Automated web gis based hydrograph analysis tool, WHAT1.

Arnold, J. G., & Allen, P. M. (1999). Automated methods for estimating base flow and ground water recharge from stream flow records .

Michel, C., Andréassian, V., & Perrin, C. (2005). Soil Conservation Service Curve Number method: How to mend a wrong soil moisture accounting procedure?. Water Resources Research, 41(2).

Soulis, K. X., Valiantzas, J. D., Dercas, N., & Londra, P. A. (2009). Analysis of the runoff generation mechanism for the investigation of the SCS-CN method applicability to a partial area experimental watershed. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci, 6, 373-400.

Queensland Urban Drainage Manual – Volume 1 second edition 2007, ile/0008/78128/qudm2013-provisional.pdf

Rutledge, C. W., & Whitaker Jr, N. A. (2003). U.S. Patent No. 6,650,998. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Tallaksen, L. M. (1995). A review of baseflow recession analysis. Journal of hydrology, 165(1), 349-370.

Sharma, K. P. (1993). Role of melt water in major river systems of Nepal. IAHS Publications-Publications of the International Association of Hydrological Sc., 218, 113-122.

Butt, M. J., & Bilal, M. (2011). Application of snowmelt runoff model for water resource management. HydrologicalProcesses, 25(24), 3735-3747.

Bashir, F., & Rasul, G. (2010). Estimation of water discharge from Gilgit Basin using remote sensing, GIS and runoff modeling. Pakistan J. Meteor, 6(12), 97-113.

Ashraf, A., Ahmad, S. S., Aziz, N., & Shah, M. T. A. (2012). Preliminary Estimation of Snow Covers Extents of Astore River Basin in Northern Areas, Pakistan. Journal of Geography and Geology, 4(2), p124.

Singh, P., & Bengtsson, L. (2003). Effect of warmer climate on the depletion of snowcovered area in the Satluj basin in the western Himalayan region. Hydrological sciences journal, 48(3), 413-425.

Dey, B., Goswami, D. C., & Rango, A. (1983). Utilization of satellite snow-cover observations for seasonal stream flow estimates in the Western Himalayas. Nordic hydrology, 14(5), 257-266.

Tahir, A. A., Chevallier, P., Arnaud, Y., Neppel, L., & Ahmad, B. (2011). Modeling snowmeltrunoff under climate scenarios in the Hunza River basin, Karakoram Range, Northern Pakistan. Jr. of Hydrology, 409(1), 104-117.

Martinec, J., & Rango, A. (1986). Parameter values for snowmelt runoff modelling. Journal of Hydrology, 84(3), 197-219.

Georgievsky, M. V. (2009). Application of the Snowmelt Runoff model in the Kuban river basin using MODIS satellite images. Environmental Research Letters, 4(4), 045017.

Martinec, J., Rango, A., Roberts, R., 2007. Snowmelt-Runoff Model (SRM) user’s manual. USDA Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico State University, LasCruces, NM 88003, USA

WMO, 1992. Simulated Real-time Intercomparison of Hydrological Models, Geneva, Switzerland

Tachikawa, T., M. Hato, M. Kaku, A. Iwasaki (2011): Characteristics of ASTER GDEM Version 2. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) 2011, Vancouver, Canada. aster/docs/Tachikawa_etal_IGARSS_2011.pdf

Riggs, G. A., Hall, D. K., & Salomonson, V. V. (2006). MODIS snow products user guide to collection 5. Digital Media, 80.

Artan, G., Gadain, H., Smith, J. L., Asante, K., Bandaragoda, C. J., & Verdin, J. P. (2007). Adequacy of satellite derived rainfall data for stream flow modeling. Natural Hazards, 43(2), 167-185.

Anderson, J. R. (1976). A land use and land cover classification system for use with remote sensor data (Vol. 964). US Government Printing Office.

Qamer, F. M., Abbas, S., Saleem, R., Shehzad, K., Ali, H., & Gilani, H. (2012). Forest cover change assessment in conflict-affected areas of northwest Pakistan: The case of Swat and Shangla Districts. Journal of Mountain Science, 9(3), 297-306.

Copyright (c) 2016 Muhammad Umar

Powered By KICS