Natural Hazards

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 891–904 | Cite as

Snow cover depletion under changed climate with the help of remote sensing and temperature data

  • Sanjay K. JainEmail author
  • L. N. Thakural
  • R. D. Singh
  • A. K. Lohani
  • S. K. Mishra
Original Paper


Snow cover depletion curve (SDC) is one of the important variables in snow hydrological applications, and these curves are very much required for snowmelt runoff modeling in a snowfed catchment. Remote sensing is an important source of snow cover area which is used for preparation of SDC. Snow cover maps produced by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellites are one of the best source of satellite-based snow cover area at a regular interval. Therefore, in this study, snow cover maps have been prepared for the years 2000–2005 using MODIS data. The study area chosen viz. Beas basin up to Pandoh dam falls in western Himalayan region. For snowmelt runoff modeling, catchment is divided into number of elevation zones and SDC is required for each zone. When sufficient satellite data are not available due to cloud cover or due to some other reasons, then SDC can to be generated using temperature data. Under changed climate conditions also, modified SDC is required. Therefore, to have SDC under such situations, a relationship between snow cover area and cumulative mean temperature has been developed for each zone of the catchment. This procedure of having snow cover maps has two main purposes. First, it could potentially be used to generate snow cover maps when cloud-free satellite data are not available. Second, it can be used to generate snow-covered area in a new climate to see the impact of climate change on snowmelt runoff studies.


MODIS Snow cover area Temperature Digital elevation model Snowmelt model Stream flow 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay K. Jain
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. N. Thakural
    • 1
  • R. D. Singh
    • 1
  • A. K. Lohani
    • 1
  • S. K. Mishra
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of HydrologyRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia

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