A new method for establishing hydrologic fidelity of snow depth measurements based on snowmelt–runoff hydrographs

Daeryong Park, Momcilo Markus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


For snowmelt-driven flood studies, snow water equivalent (SWE) is frequently estimated using snow depth data. Accurate measurements of snow depth are important in providing data for continuous hydrologic simulations of such watersheds. A new hydrologic fidelity metric is proposed in this study to evaluate the potential contribution of particular snow depth datasets to flow characteristics using observed data and hydrologic modeling using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model. Data-based hydrologic fidelity of snow depth measurements is defined as a categorical skill score between the snow depth in the watershed and the hydrograph peak or volume at the watershed outlet. Similarly, model-based hydrologic fidelity is defined as a categorical skill score between the model-simulated snow depth and the model-simulated hydrograph peak or volume. The proposed framework is illustrated using the Pecatonica River watershed in the USA, indicating which sites have a higher hydrologic fidelity, which is preferred in hydrologic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-385
Number of pages17
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 17 2018



  • Barnstone skill score
  • Gerrity skill score
  • LEPS skill score
  • VIC model
  • snow depth
  • snow gauge evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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