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Snow water equivalent variability in Pamir (Tajikistan)

In mountainous areas such as Tien Shan and Pamir, snow can contribute up to 80% of the water resources after melting; thus, a more precise assessment of this component is necessary for a changing and variable climate. Measuring Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) on a regular basis helps to better estimate yearly and seasonal water resources and releases. SWE is the quantity of liquid water that will is available after melting. Surveying such parameters on a regular basis is critical for water resources estimations.

This project, funded by UCA, will improve our knowledge of snow in the Upper Panj basin in Tajikistan. Every winter, the MSRI team collects SWE data using Mount Rose samplers along different valleys in Pamir, from 2000 up to 4200 meters above sea level. This regular monitoring of the spatial and temporal distribution of SWE is unique in this region. Throughout this project, MSRI is also testing the performance of various SWE satellite products in the region, which require ground calibration with SWE collected from the field.