Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (2.8 MB)

Title: Forest influences on snow accumulation and snowmelt at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA

Author: Penn, Colin A.; Wemple, Beverley C.; Campbell, John L.;

Date: 2012

Source: Hydrological Processes. 26: 2524-2534.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Many factors influence snow depth, water content and duration in forest ecosystems. The effects of forest cover and canopy gap geometry on snow accumulation has been well documented in coniferous forests of western North America and other regions; however, few studies have evaluated these effects on snowpack dynamics in mixed deciduous forests of the northeastern USA. We measured snow depth and water equivalent near the time of peak snowpack accumulation and, again, during snowmelt to better understand the effect of forests on snowpack properties in the northeastern USA. Surveys occurred in openings and under the forest canopy at plots with different characteristics (e.g. aspect, elevation, forest composition) within the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, USA. Snow water equivalent (SWE) was significantly greater in openings (p = 0.021) than in forests on north-facing plots but not on south-facing plots (p = 0.318) in early March 2009. One month later, SWE was more variable but remained greater in openings on north-facing plots (p = 0.067), whereas SWE was greater (p = 0.071) under forests than in clearings on south-facing plots, where snowmelt had sufficiently progressed. During peak accumulation, SWE decreased with increasing conifer cover on north-facing plots. During the snowmelt period, SWE on south-facing plots decreased with increasing basal area, sky view factor and diameter at breast height of trees on the plots. These results have implications for spring streamflow and soil moisture in the face of changing climate conditions and land use pressures in the forests of northern New England.

Keywords: snow distribution, snow water equivalent (SWE), snowmelt, forests, sky view factor

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Penn, Colin A.; Wemple, Beverley C.; Campbell, John L. 2012. Forest influences on snow accumulation and snowmelt at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. Hydrological Processes. 26: 2524-2534.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.