ICSIH, Snow and Ice Hydrology

Snow and ice have been studied as core components of hydrology since its inception and their dynamics are key to hydrological functioning for much of the world. Water stored as snow and ice is a critical contribution to the world’s available freshwater supply and is essential to the sustenance of natural ecosystems, agriculture and human societies.


The formation, vaporisation and melting of snow, ice and soil frost are important and dynamic components of the hydrological cycle and hold an inordinately important role in runoff formation and streamflow generation.  Snowmelt water and soil frost play major roles in runoff generation and soil moisture replenishment for both cold regions and uplands, and river flow from these source regions is extremely important to more temperate and often more arid downstream areas. River and lake ice affect water flow and may result in catastrophic flooding. Due to global warming the cryosphere experiences rapid changes. Changing climate has resulted in altered patterns of snowfall and snowmelt, conversion of snowfall to rainfall, loss of glaciated area and thawing of permafrost.

The goal of the International Commission for Snow and Ice Hydrology is to promote the scientific study of the processes of snow and ice dynamics and the influence of snow and ice on the environment, runoff generation, rivers and lakes, with an emphasis on the seasons and regions where the solid phase of water and its subsequent runoff are prevalent.

 ICSIH in its present form is the newest IAHS commission. ICSIH was approved to begin its functions with a provisional bureau at the IAHS Bureau meeting in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil in April 2005. ICSIH was voted into existence by the IAHS General Assembly at the IUGG in Perugia, Italy, in July 2007, when the former International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) became the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS).

ICSIH has actively worked towards its mission goals through publication of several special issues and Red Books and conference/workshop organization participation and convening sessions at all IAHS and IUGG symposia. ICSIH also has a special role with IAHS by fostering a fruitful connection with IACS.

John Pomeroy

ICSIH 1st President

ICSIH Officers


Danny Marks




Tobias Jonas




Tim Link




Sebastian Mernild




Melody Sandells




Alexander Gelfan




Supplementary historical documents

Memorandum of understanding between Organizations acting in the field of Cryospheric Sciences (International Commission on Snow and Ice Hydrology (ICSIH) Bureau Meeting, Perugia 10 July 2007)

Check out ICSIH Annual Reports in theDownloads section