How does i-Tree Hydro handle snow?

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rcoville
i-Tree Team
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 9:29 am
Location: Syracuse, NY

How does i-Tree Hydro handle snow?

Post by rcoville » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:11 pm

There are specific processes we need to consider for hydrology in locations with most precipitation coming in the winter, frozen. In the version 2 update of i-Tree Hydro, the underlying model was improved to include cold climate hydrology routines in the form of 4 processes: snow interception; snow accumulation; snow melt; and snow sublimation. You can read about that update in the following paper, iTree-Hydro: Snow Hydrology Update for the Urban Forest Hydrology Model.

The main user-defined variables that our cold climate hydrology routines rely on, in addition to the regular Hydro inputs/processes, are: weather data + project location; land cover %; evergreen %; Leaf Area Indexes; and the Leaf Storage parameter. i-Tree Hydro will do a good job handling snow-related processes & predictions of snow water equivalent as described in that paper, to the extent that those inputs are accurate.

We model seasonal changes in leaf area based on the evergreen %, % tree cover and the hydrological parameters: Leaf On Day, Leaf Off Day, and Leaf Transition Period (days). Those leaf on/off parameters are set automatically based on project location and are not changed by auto-calibrating. Users can edit the leaf on/off parameters in the advanced settings of the hydrological parameters step to more accurately reflect project location if better local data is available.
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