Glacier mass balance simulation using SWAT distributed snow algorithm Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 IAHS. Application of a temperature-index melt model incorporated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is presented to simulate mass balance (MB) and equilibrium line altitude (ELA) of three glaciers. The snow accumulation/melt parameters were adjusted to glacierized and free glacier areas, respectively. The SWAT snow algorithm enabled us to consider spatial variation of snow parameters by elevation bands across the sub-basins, while in the previous studies using SWAT, the related parameters were constant for an entire basin. The results show slight improvement in runoff simulation and significant improvement in simulated MB when considering ELA in model calibration. The results showed that SWAT can be applied to simulate MB, vertical MB distribution and annual ELA, with light calibration efforts for data-scarce catchments. The accuracy of the results depends on the modelled area of ablation zone from which most of the meltwater is released.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Omani, N., Srinivasan, R., Smith, P. K., & Karthikeyan, R.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Omani, Nina||Srinivasan, Raghavan||Smith, Patricia K||Karthikeyan, Raghupathy

publication date

  • March 2017