538 Modeling glacier and snow melt in the Himalayas: HIMALA BASINS

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Molly Brown, NASA, Greenbelt, MD; and D. Tarboton, A. Racoviteanu, S. Habib, M. Shrestha, and S. Bajracharya

The HIMALA project focuses on using satellite-based products for better understanding of the contribution of snow and ice to hydrological processes and improved management of water resources in the Himalayan region. Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice, which act as a freshwater reservoir for more than 1.3 billion people in Asia. Our multi-organizational, multidisciplinary team leverages the extensive resources and expertise of NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Among the project's main goals are to: (i) introduce the use of NASA Earth Science products and models to ICIMOD and its member countries through collaboration with USAID and USGS, (ii) enhance the decision making capacity of ICIMOD and its member countries for management of water resources (floods, droughts, agricultural water) in the short (snow, rainfall) and the long-term (glaciers), and (iii) provide projections of climate change impacts on water resources through 2100 using the IPCC models. To accomplish these goals, the objective of this project is to create an end-to-end sub-basin hydrological tool in an easy-to-use GUI framework that includes modeling both snow and glacier-melt water contributions to river flow. We will integrate the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) model and the GeoSFM gridded streamflow model into the MapWindow BASINS tool. The resulting tool – HIMALA BASINS – will be maintained by the US EPA and will be easily accessible by both the hydrological and cryospheric communities.
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