Ag Data Commons

File(s) stored somewhere else

Please note: Linked content is NOT stored on Ag Data Commons and we can't guarantee its availability, quality, security or accept any liability.


posted on 2024-02-09, 18:06 authored by Daniel G. Marks

iSnobal is a physically-based distributed snowmelt model. Snowmelt is the principal source for soil moisture, ground-water re-charge, and stream-flow in mountainous regions of the western US, Canada, and other similar regions of the world. Information on the timing, magnitude, and contributing area of melt under variable or changing climate conditions is required for successful water and resource management. A coupled energy and mass-balance model iSnobal is used to simulate the development and melting of the seasonal snowcover in several mountain basins in California, Idaho, and Utah. Simulations are done over basins varying from 1 to 2500 km2 , with simulation periods varying from a few days for the smallest basin, Emerald Lake watershed in California, to multiple snow seasons for the Park City area in Utah. The model is driven by topographically corrected estimates of radiation, temperature, humidity, wind, and precipitation. Simulation results in all basins closely match independently measured snow water equivalent, snow depth, or runoff during both the development and depletion of the snowcover. Spatially distributed estimates of snow deposition and melt allow us to better understand the interaction between topographic structure, climate, and moisture availability in mountain basins of the western US. Application of topographically distributed models such as this will lead to improved water resource and watershed management.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Image Processing Workbench (IPW).

    File Name: Web Page, url:

    GitHub repository where the model can be accessed and downloaded.




Data contact name

Marks, Danny

Data contact email


USDA Agricultural Research Service

Intended use

iSnobal is used to simulate the development and melting of the seasonal snowcover.


  • Not specified

ISO Topic Category

  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • environment

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

snowmelt; models; computer software; soil water; groundwater; stream flow; United States; melting; climate change; resource management; energy; snowpack; basins; lakes; watersheds; snow; temperature; humidity; wind; runoff; topography; climate; watershed management

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 211

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Marks, Daniel G. (2017). iSnobal. USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Usage metrics


    Ref. manager