• A Technique to Evaluate Snowpack Profiles in and Adjacent to Forest Openings

      Ffolliott, Peter F.; Thorud, David B.; Department of Watershed Management, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1974-04-20)
      Profiles of snowpack build-up in openings in forest overstories have been widely observed; however, a quantitative characterization of such a snowpack profile would aid in developing empirical guidelines for improving water yields from snowpacks. A technique is outlined that illustrates (a) evaluating snowpack profiles in and adjacent to individual forest openings in terms of increase or decrease in water equivalent, and (b) defining trade-offs between the estimated increase or decrease in snowpack water equivalent and the forest resource removed. Snowpack water equivalent during peak seasonal accumulation was measured in and adjacent to a clearcut strip in a ponderosa pine stand in north-central Arizona. A 4-degree polynomial, which defines the snowpack profile in terms of deposition, redistribution, and ablation characteristics, was empirically selected to describe snowpack water equivalent data points. An increase of 60 percent in snowpack water equivalent was realized by removing 46 percent of the ponderosa pine in the zone of influence, using a strip equal to one and one-half the height of the adjacent overstory.