State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008AK71B
Title: Study of Streamflow Response to Seasonal Snowcover Change in the Yukon River
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: AK-1
Focus Categories: Hydrology
Keywords: Discharge, climate, snowcover, and permafrost
Principal Investigator: Yang, Daqing
Federal Funds: $ 22,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 9,163
Abstract: The Yukon River is one of the largest rivers in the northern regions. It contributes 203 Km3/year freshwater to the Bering Sea. Hydrologic conditions and its changes in the Yukon river significantly affect regional biologic and ecologic systems. Snowcover is one of the critical land memory processes that significantly impact atmosphere, hydrology and ecosystems in the high latitude regions. Snowcover melt and associated floods are the most important hydrologic event of the year in the northern river basins. Our current understanding of Yukon River hydrology and climate changes, particularly large-scale snowmelt processes and their interaction with climatic change and variation, is incomplete. This limits our capability of documenting past change and predict future change over this largest watershed in Alaska. This research will apply remote sensing and in-situ snowcover data and products for snowcover and snowmelt runoff analyses over the Yukon watershed. The focus is to examine the streamflow response to snowcover change during the spring melt season, and to determine the potential of using remotely sensed snowcover information to improve our capability of snowmelt runoff modeling and forecasting over large northern regions.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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