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Comparison of Two Snowmelt Modelling Approaches in the Dudh Koshi Basin (Eastern Himalayas, Nepal)

  • Budhathoki, K. P.
  • Bajracharya, O. R.
  • Neppel, L.
  • Arnaud, Y.
  • Tahir, A. A.
  • Andréassian, V.
  • Chevallier, P.
  • Pokhrel, B. K.

The glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas are retreating due to rising temperatures. Lack of data and information on Nepal's cryosphere has impeded scientific studies and field investigations in the Nepalese Himalayas. Therefore, IRD France and Ev-K2 CNR Italy have conducted the PAPRIKA (CryosPheric responses to Anthropogenic PRessures in the HIndu Kush-Himalaya regions: impacts on water resources and society adaptation in Nepal) project in Nepal with the financial support of the French and Italian scientific agencies. This project aims to address the current and future evolution of the cryosphere in response to overall environmental changes in South Asia, and its consequences for water resources in Nepal. Thus, two hydrological models, the GR4J lumped precipitation-runoff model and the snowmelt runoff model (SRM), were used in the Dudh Koshi basin. The GR4J model has been successfully applied in different parts of Europe. To obtain better results in such a harsh and rugged topography, modifications needed to be made, particularly in the snow module. The runoff pattern is analysed herein both for past years and, in a sensitivity analysis, for possible future climatic conditions (i.e. precipitation and temperature) using the SRM and GR4J modelling approaches. The results reveal a significant contribution of snow- and glacier-melt to runoff, and the SRM model shows better performance in Nepalese catchments than the GR4J model. © 2014 © 2014 IAHS Press.

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