Chinese Researchers Analyze Seasonal Snowmelt Contribution in Altai Mountains
Chinese researchers have recently completed an analysis of seasonal snowmelt contribution for a river basin in the Altai Mountains in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The study provides a sound basis for making snowmelt runoff predictions, which could be used to prevent snowmelt-induced flooding, said Wu Xuejiao, a researcher at the Northwest Institute of Eco-environment and Resources (NIEER) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
It also proposes a practical approach to better understand and evaluate remote, high-elevation regions, which are covered by seasonal snow but have limited high-density and long-term observation data.
Snowmelt water is a vital freshwater resource in the Altai Mountains. Using a distributed energy balance model, researchers simulated snowmelt runoff dynamics in the Kayiertesi River catchment in the 2000-2016 period, according to Wu.
The results show that snowmelt's contribution to runoff in the Altai Mountains can extend into non-snow days as the snowmelt water is retained in the soil.
In the 2000-2016 period, the snow-to-rain ratio decreased rapidly and the snowmelt contribution remained relatively stable in the region.
The results of the study have been published online in the journal Hydrological Processes. (Xinhua)