Usingvery long-range terrestriallaser scanner to analyze the temporal consistency of the snowpack distribution in a high mountain environment Usingvery long-range terrestriallaser scanner to analyze the temporal consistency of the snowpack distribution in a high mountain environment

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Vol14 No.5: 823-842

Title】Usingvery long-range terrestriallaser scanner to analyze the temporal consistency of the snowpack distribution in a high mountain environment

Author】Juan I. LÓPEZ-MORENO1*; Jesús REVUELTO1,2; E. ALONSO-GONZÁLEZ1; Alba SANMIGUEL-VALLELADO1; Steven R. FASSNACHT3; Jeffrey DEEMS4;EnriqueMORÁN-TEJEDA5

Addresses】1 Pyrenean Institute of Ecology, CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain; 2 Météo-France - CNRS, CNRM (UMR3589), Centre d'Etudes de la Neige, Grenoble, France; 3 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; 4 National Snow and Ice Data Center, NSIDC, Boulder, Colorado; 5 University of Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Spain

Corresponding author】nlopez@ipe.csic.es

Citation】López-Moreno JI, Revuelto J, Alonso-González E, et al. (2017) Using very long-range terrestrial laser scanner to analyze the temporal consistency of the snowpack distribution in a high mountain environment. Journal of Mountain Science 14(5). DOI: 10.1007/s11629-016-4086-0

DOI】10.1007/s11629-016-4086-0

Abstract】This study demonstrated theusefulness of very long-range terrestrial laser scanning(TLS) for analysis of the spatial distribution of a snowpack, to distances up to 3000 m, one of the longest measurement range reported to date. Snow depth data were collected using a terrestrial laser scanner during 11 periods ofsnow accumulation and melting,overthree snow seasons ona Pyrenean hillslopecharacterized by a large elevationalgradient, steep slopes, and avalanche occurrence. The maximum and mean absolute snow depth error found was 0.5-0.6 and 0.2-0.3 m respectively, which may result problematic for areas with a shallow snowpack, but it is sufficiently accurate to determine snow distribution patterns in areas characterized by a thick snowpack. The results indicated that in most cases there was temporal consistency in the spatial distribution of thesnowpack, even in different years. The spatial patterns were particularly similar amongst thesurveys conducted during the period dominated by snow accumulation (generally until end of April), or amongst those conducted during the period dominated by melting processes (generally after mid of April or early May). Simple linear correlation analyses for the 11 survey dates, and the application of Random Forests analysis to two days representative of snow accumulation and melting periods indicated the importance of topography to the snow distribution. The results also highlight that elevation and the Topographic Position index (TPI)were the main variables explaining the snow distribution, especially during periods dominated by melting. The intra- and inter-annual spatial consistency of the snowpack distribution suggests that the geomorphological processes linked to presence/absence of snowcover act in a similar wayin the longterm, and that these spatial patternscan be easily identifiedthrough several years of adequate monitoring.

Keywords】Snow; Terrestrial laser scanner (TLS); Topography; Random Forests; Spatial distribution; Pyrenees