The spatial and temporal variability of snowmelt runoff and soil moisture recharge within small watersheds must be quantified for use in distributed parameter snowmelt models. Snowmelt runoff, over-winter changes in soil moisture and soil temperatures were monitored over three annual snowmelt periods on two reclaimed watersheds in central Alberta, Canada. Slope aspect had a major influence on fall soil antecedent conditions and soil temperature. The south-facing slopes produced snowmelt the earliest, cleared of snow the soonest, yielded the least amount of runoff and had the greatest gain in over-winter soil moisture. Over-winter change in soil moisture was minimal when fall soil moisture levels were greater than 75% relative saturation. The power relationship between infiltration and snow-water equivalent of Granger et al. (1984) was not verified in this study, likely due to mid-winter melts that altered near-surface soil moisture and subsequently enhanced snowmelt runoff.
- Received August 5, 1997.
- Revision received April 21, 1998.
- Accepted May 5, 1998.
- © IWA Publishing 1998