Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Research article
20 Sep 2016
Research article |  | 20 Sep 2016

How much cryosphere model complexity is just right? Exploration using the conceptual cryosphere hydrology framework

Thomas M. Mosier, David F. Hill, and Kendra V. Sharp

Related authors

The effects of changing climate on estuarine water levels: a United States Pacific Northwest case study
Kai Parker, David Hill, Gabriel García-Medina, and Jordan Beamer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1601–1618,,, 2019
Short summary
Seasonal components of freshwater runoff in Glacier Bay, Alaska: diverse spatial patterns and temporal change
Ryan L. Crumley, David F. Hill, Jordan P. Beamer, and Elizabeth R. Holzenthal
The Cryosphere, 13, 1597–1619,,, 2019
Short summary

Related subject area

Mountain Processes
Mountain permafrost in the Central Pyrenees: insights from the Devaux ice cave
Miguel Bartolomé, Gérard Cazenave, Marc Luetscher, Christoph Spötl, Fernando Gázquez, Ánchel Belmonte, Alexandra V. Turchyn, Juan Ignacio López-Moreno, and Ana Moreno
The Cryosphere, 17, 477–497,,, 2023
Short summary
Snow sensitivity to climate change during compound cold-hot and wet-dry seasons in the Pyrenees
Josep Bonsoms, Juan Ignacio López-Moreno, and Esteban Alonso-González
EGUsphere,,, 2022
Short summary
Glacier–permafrost relations in a high-mountain environment: 5 decades of kinematic monitoring at the Gruben site, Swiss Alps
Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Nina Brunner, Reynald Delaloye, Wilfried Haeberli, Andreas Kääb, and Patrick Thee
The Cryosphere, 16, 2083–2101,,, 2022
Short summary
Multi-scale snowdrift-permitting modelling of mountain snowpack
Vincent Vionnet, Christopher B. Marsh, Brian Menounos, Simon Gascoin, Nicholas E. Wayand, Joseph Shea, Kriti Mukherjee, and John W. Pomeroy
The Cryosphere, 15, 743–769,,, 2021
Short summary
How much snow falls in the world's mountains? A first look at mountain snowfall estimates in A-train observations and reanalyses
Anne Sophie Daloz, Marian Mateling, Tristan L'Ecuyer, Mark Kulie, Norm B. Wood, Mikael Durand, Melissa Wrzesien, Camilla W. Stjern, and Ashok P. Dimri
The Cryosphere, 14, 3195–3207,,, 2020
Short summary

Cited articles

Allen, R. G., Pereira, L. S., Raes, D., Smith, M.: Crop evapotranspiration – guidelines for computing crop water requirements, FAO irrigation and drainage paper 56, FAO, Rome, 1998.
Armstrong, R. L. and Armstrong, B. R.: Snow and avalanche climates of the western United States: a comparison of maritime, intermountain and continental conditions, IAHS Publ., 162, 281–294, 1987.
Arsenault, R. and Brissette, F. P.: Continuous streamflow prediction in ungauged basins: the effects of equifinality and parameter set selection on uncertainty in regionalization approaches, Water Resour. Res., 50, 6135–6153,, 2014.
Barry, R. G.: Mountain Weather and Climate, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2008.
Beamer, J. P., Hill, D. F., Arendt, A., and Liston, G. E.: High-resolution modeling of coastal freshwater discharge and glacier mass balance in the Gulf of Alaska watershed, Water Resour. Res., 52, 3888–3909,, 2016.
Short summary
Our paper presents the Conceptual Cryosphere Hydrology Framework (CCHF), a tool to enable more rapid development and intercomparison of cryosphere process representations. Using the CCHF, we demonstrate that some common existing degree index cryosphere models are not well suited for assessing impacts across climates, even though these models appear to perform well under a common evaluation strategy. We show that more robust models can be formulated without increasing data input requirements.