A performance assessment of gridded snow products in the Upper Euphrates


  • Esteban Alonso-González Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère, CESBIO, Univ. Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/INRAE/IRD/UPS, Toulouse, France https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1883-3823
  • Juan Ignacio López-Moreno Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, CSIC, Zaragoza, Spain
  • M. Cansaran Ertaş Erzurum Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Erzurum, Turkey
  • Aynur Şensoy Eskisehir Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Eskisehir, Turkey
  • Ali Arda Şorman Eskisehir Technical University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Eskisehir, Turkey




Snow water equivalent, snow gridded datasets, reanalysis products, microwave remote sensing, Euphrates Basin


Snow observations are important in many mountain areas to quantify the water stored in snowpacks and to predicting runoff during the melting period. In this study we compare the performance of five different regional-scale gridded snow products to reproduce snow water equivalent (SWE) in the Upper Euphrates region (Karasu Basin, 10,275 km2), with observations from automatic weather stations in the catchment through Taylor diagrams. The products compared are the ERA5, ERA5-Land, MERRA-2, snow data from a dynamical downscaling of ERA-5 (period 2000-2018) and SWE generated from microwave satellite data (SWE-E(H13) period 2013-2015 product of the EUMETSAT H SAF project). The H13 product presented deficiencies in terms of not being able to reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack. ERA-5 and, in particular, ERA-Land products, at 30 and 9 km grid size, respectively, showed good performance in reproducing snow evolution compared to four available observation sites. MERRA2 at 50 km resolution showed lower skills compared to the above-mentioned products. Resulting snow data from WRF at 10 km resolution did not show any improvement with respect to the global datasets. The impossibility of testing different configurations due to the lack of observations to compare and the computational constraints to test different parametrizations may be the reasons to explain the low performance although they remain speculative. All the gridded datasets showed good performance in reproducing snow duration over the basin, compared to remotely sensed data. Results highlight ERA-Land dataset as a very promising tool for regional snow studies in mountainous regions with limited observations, in a cost-effective way.


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How to Cite

Alonso-González E, López-Moreno JI, Ertaş MC, Şensoy A, Şorman AA. A performance assessment of gridded snow products in the Upper Euphrates. CIG [Internet]. 2022 Nov. 4 [cited 2023 Sep. 22];49(1):55-68. Available from: https://publicaciones.unirioja.es/ojs/index.php/cig/article/view/5275