Looking For Freshwater In All the Snowy Places
20 June 2019
Snowflakes that cover mountains or linger under tree canopies are a vital freshwater resource for over a billion people around the world. To help determine how much freshwater is stored in snow, a team of NASA-funded researchers is creating a computer-based tool that simulates the best way to detect snow and measure its water content from space.
Snow's water content, or snow water equivalent (SWE) is a "holy grail for many hydrologists," said Bart Forman, the project's principal investigator and a professor with the University of Maryland, College Park. When snow melts, the ensuing puddle of water is its SWE.
Image credit: NASA - View southwestward across the Kamchatka Peninsula.