Main content area

The importance of Alpine research catchments for model evaluation and for the improvement of remote sensing products

Bernhardt, Matthias, Härer, Stefan, Feigl, Moritz, Schulz, Karsten
Österreichische Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft 2018 v.70 no.9-10 pp. 515-528
case studies, climate models, instrumentation, remote sensing, uncertainty, watersheds
Mountain areas are traditionally data sparse since meteorological or gauging stations are rare or non-existent. Field measurements are only available for some areas, or for a few measuring points, within the catchment. Hence, data from land surface models, climate models and remote sensing have become increasingly important sources of alternative data. However, the quality of these data sources is often undefined given the limitations of available actual observations. Data from Alpine research catchments often exist only due to the efforts of local research groups in the region, providing extremely valuable data that are based on a high level of instrumentation. The research catchment Zugspitze (RCZ) located in the direct environment of the environmental research station Schneefernerhaus is such a local effort, which is mainly funded by the Bavarian ministry for the Environment. In three case studies, we will demonstrate the importance of such data and show how strongly uncertainties from modelling and remote sensing can be reduced.