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

Past President

 Danny Marks
Research Hydrologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Northwest Watershed Research Center, 800 Park Blvd, Suite 105 Boise, Idaho 83712-7716 USA
Tel : +1-208-422-0721 


 Tobias Jonas
Snow Hydrology Research Group, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Flüelastr. 11, CH-7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
Tel: +41 81 417 0259


Timothy E. Link
Professor of Hydrology, University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, 875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133, Moscow, ID 83844-1133 USA
Tel: +1 (208) 885-9465


Sebastian Mernild
Glaciology and Climate Change Laboratory, Center for Scientific Studies/Centro de Estudios Cientificos (CECs), Av. Arturo Prat 514, 5110466 Valdivia, Chile.
Tel: +56-63-234540


Melody Sandells
CORES Science and Engineering Limited, 77 Oakfields, Burnopfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE16 6PQ, UK
Tel:+44 7986 609168


Alexander Gelfan
Lab. Hydrological Cycle, Water Problems Institute, Russian Academy of Science3 Gubkin Str., 119991Moscow Russia
Tel: +7 (495)135-5403 


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 the Downloads section