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Further information


HydAlp   -  Hydrology of Alpine and High Latitude Basins


The HYDALP project aims at the application of remote sensing in hydrological models for improved management and conservation of water resources.

The project activities include:

  • the improvement of methods for remote sensing data analysis,
  • the modification of hydrological models for the optimum use of remote sensing information,
  • the demonstration of the application in pre-operational environment.

Test basins are situated in the Austrian and Swiss Alps, in Scotland and in Northern Sweden where snow and glacier melt provide significant contributions to runoff. These contributions are difficult to estimate with conventional methods because of the high spatial variability of the snow pack, in particular in regions with complex topography.

Remote sensing offers the advantage of spatially distributed observations which are of particular interest for distributed runoff models. The main earth observation data sources of the project are the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) of ERS, high resolution optical sensors of SPOT, Landsat and IRS, and the medium resolution AVHRR on NOAA.

During the first project phase the requirements for hydrological modelling and forecasting were defined in conjunction with customers. Automatic processing schemes were developed for snow cover mapping in complex terrain using SAR and optical sensors.

Runoff has been calculated using the models SRM (Snowmelt Runoff Model) of Rango and Martinec and the HBV model of SMHI . These models have been modified for improved handling and use of remote sensing information. Simulations of daily runoff have been carried out for the test basins for several years in order to calibrate and test the models. In spring 1999 daily runoff forecasts will be carried out in near-real time to test the data links and models, and to demonstrate the operational potential.

A group of customers has been formed which will assess the usefulness of the forecasts for water management applications and the cost/effectiveness of the remote sensing input.

The web address of the project is:

SRM model home page ! HBV model home page    (remote sites)

Last updated: 13th October, 1998 by Roger Dunham