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Change in snow depletion pattern in a river basin of Arunachal Pradesh under projected climatic scenarios

Paper Topic: 

Pages :
199 - 210

Corresponing Author: 
Bandyopadhyay A.
Mishra P., Bandyopadhyay A. and Bhadra A.
Paper ID: 
Paper Status: 
Date Paper Accepted: 
Paper online: 

Snow depletion curves (SDCs) are important in hydrological studies for predicting snowmelt generated runoff in high mountain catchments. The present study deals with the derivation of the average snow depletion pattern in the Mago basin of Arunachal Pradesh, which falls in the eastern Himalayan region and the generation of climate affected SDCs in future years (2020, 2030, 2040, and 2050) under different projected climatic scenarios. The MODIS daily snow cover product at 500m resolution from both the Aqua and Terra satellites was used to obtain daily snow cover maps. MOD10A1 and MYD10A1 images were compared to select cloud free or minimum cloud image to obtain the temporal distribution of snow cover area (SCA). Snow accumulation and depletion patterns were obtained by analysing SCA at different days. For most of the years, two peaks were observed in the SCA analysis. The conventional depletion curve (CDC) representing present climate was derived by determining and interpolating the SCA from cloud-free (cloud<5%) images for the selected hydrological year 2007. The investigation shows that the SCA was highest in February and lowest in May. Ten years meteorological data were used to normalize the temperature and precipitation data of the selected hydrological year (2007) to eliminate the impact of their yearly fluctuations on the snow cover depletion. The temperature and precipitation changes under four different projected climatic scenarios (A1B, A2, B1, and IPCC Commitment) were analysed for future years. Changes in the cumulative snowmelt depth with respect to the present climate for different future years were studied by a degree-day approach and were found to be highest under A1B, followed by A2, B1, and IPCC Commitment scenarios. It was observed that the A1B climatic scenario affected the depletion pattern most, making the depletion of snow to start and complete faster than under different scenarios. Advancing of depletion curve for different future years was found to be highest under A1B and lowest under IPCC Commitment scenarios with A2 and B1 in-between them.

MODIS, Snow-cover depletion curve (SDC), snow-covered area (SCA), cumulative snowmelt depth, projected climatic scenarios, Eastern Himalayan region.