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					Kougarok Snowmelt 2000




            Image Courtesy Bob Huebert / ARSC
Snow Surveys, Kougarok Alaska
Andy Monaghan and Hans Klausner, Water and Environmental Research
Center, University of Alaska

During a five week period in May and early June 2000, snowmelt
processes were monitored at Niagara Creek and Mauze Gulch. These
adjacent watersheds are located on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula,
approximately 80 miles north of Nome. The terrain is rolling, and
vegetation is primarily tussock and shrub tundra.

Daily snow surveys were conducted at four sites: Niagara Creek
Tussock, Niagara Creek Shrub, Mauze Gulch Tussock and Mauze Gulch
Shrub. In addition to the surveys, snow observation pits and ablation
stakes were used. Also stream gauging was performed three times daily
on each creek.
The collected data indicated that breakup came much later on the Seward
Peninsula than in 1999, due mainly to a 5 day cold snap from May18 –
May 22. This 5 day cold spell had the effect of delaying the melt by
about 10 days, as the snow had to overcome the Qcc (cold content)
gained during the snap.

The size and amount of shrub vegetation seems to have a significant
effect on how much snow is present in a watershed at the onset of melt.
This is based on two years of observation, as similar trends were seen in
the total snow pack estimates for 1999.
Snowpack Ablation 2000,
   Kougarok, Alaska
                                                               K2 2000

                                 9



                                 8
Snowpack Water Equivalent (cm)




                                 7



                                 6



                                 5



                                 4



                                 3



                                 2



                                 1



                                 0
                                     5/4   5/9   5/14   5/19             5/24   5/29   6/3   6/8
                                                      Northern Alaskan and Resolute Snowpack Ablation
                                 25
Snowpack Water Equivalent (cm)




                                 20




                                 15
                                         Imnavait Creek
                                         CPCRW
                                         Resolute
                                         Betty Pingo
                                 10
                                         West Dock
                                         Sagwon
                                         Franklin Bluffs
                                         Mauze Gulch
                                 5       Niagara Creek
                                         Melsing Creek
                                         Barrow

                                 0

                                 3/16   3/24    4/1        4/9   4/17   4/25   5/3    5/11   5/19   5/27   6/4   6/12   6/20
                                                                               2000

Snowpack ablation during spring, 2000 displays remarkable variability among the many
sites where snowmelt processes were monitored.
        Funding for this research was provided by the
                National Science Foundation
      Arctic Systems Science Program (Grant No. OPP-
                          9818066).


Andy Monaghan, Water
and Environmental
Research Center

                                             Hans Klausner,
                                             Water and
                                             Environmental
                                             Research Center

				
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