Use of satellite observed seasonal snow cover in hydrological modeling and snowmelt runoff prediction in upeer euphrates basin, Turkey

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2005

Thesis Language: English

Student: Ali Arda Şorman



Snowmelt runoff in the mountainous eastern part of Turkey is of great importance as it constitutes 60-70% in volume of the total yearly runoff during spring and early summer months. Therefore, forecasting the amount and timing of snowmelt runoff especially in the Euphrates Basin, where large dams are located, is an important task in order to use the water resources of the country in an optimum manner. The HBV model, being one of the well-known conceptual hydrological models used more than 45 countries over the world, is applied for the first time in Turkey to a small basin of 242 km2 on the headwaters of Euphrates River for 2002-2004 water years. The input data are provided from the automatic snow-meteorological stations installed at various locations and altitudes in Upper Euphrates Basin operating in real-time. Since ground based observations can only represent a small part of the region of interest, spatially and temporally distributed snow cover data are acquired through the use of MODIS optical satellite. Automatic model parameter estimation methods, GML and SCE_UA, are utilized to calibrate the HBV model parameters with a multi-objective criteria using runoff as well as snow covered area to ensure the internal validity of the model and to generate a Pareto front. Model simulations show that the choice of study years and timing of satellite images affect the results and further suggest that more study catchments and years should be included to achieve more comprehensible conclusions. In the second part of the study, the calibrated HBV model is applied to forecast runoff with a 1-day lead time using gridded input data from numerical weather prediction models of ECMWF and MM5 for the 2004 snowmelt period. Promising results indicate the possible operational use of runoff forecasting using numerical weather prediction models in order to prevent or at least take precautions before flooding ahead of time.