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Colten Elkin Thesis Proposal

September 16 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT

Colten Elkin

Snow via Satellite: Using ICESat-2 data to better understand the controls of terrain parameters on snow distribution at the watershed scale

Seasonal snowpack accounts for ~70% of the water supply in the western United States, and measuring snow accumulation and ablation remotely has long been a stated goal of NASA. The 2018 launch of ICESat-2, a spaceborne Lidar system, has offered unparalleled spatial and temporal coverage of mountainous terrain with unprecedented vertical accuracy. Data from ICESat-2 are used to measure seasonal snowpack in two watersheds of interest in Idaho. Seasonal snow depths are synthesized with terrain parameters calculated from existing Lidar elevation models of the watersheds of interest in order to better understand controls on the spatial distribution of snowpack. Accumulation and ablation measurements taken via ICESat-2 for the Dry Creek and Reynolds Creek experimental watersheds are compared to in situ and aerial lidar data. While the in situ and aerial lidar measurements are more precise and accurate, they are found to lack the spatial resolution afforded by ICESat-2 data. Future work that would synthesize ICESat-2 measurements with NASA’s aerial snow observatory is proposed.

Advisor: Ellyn Enderlin

Co-Advisors: HP Marshall, Dylan Mikesell

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting ID: 997 0734 8512