With our new series of articles we intend to build up a collection of useful resources on snow and ice hydrology. Primarily aimed at people who only occasionally deal with this field of research, the articles will outline basic concepts, provide insights on current methods, point at interesting open-source tools, and host opinion papers.

The first article deals with a very basic problem in snow hydrology: how to estimate the snow water equivalent if only snow depth data is available. Be it historic snow depth records, or a graduated rod that’s read out by a webcam. There are many situations in which an informed estimate of the snow density might come in handy. See also the supplement material (MS xlsx)

The second article focuses on two fundamental approaches to seasonal snow and glacier
surface melt modeling, specifically the differences between empirical (or temperature index) and physically-based (or mass- and energy-balance) snow and ice melt models.

Feel free to suggest an update or a new topic for our series of articles. Or get involved and become an associate ICSIH member. Contact us at