Water obtained from snow melt in the Australian Alps is critical to energy production and agriculture in southeast Australia. Despite the importance of the snow and the water it contains, little is known about the spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack and the factors that contribute to the variability in the region.

This research aims to quantify the effects of individual trees and forest stands on snow accumulation, ablation, and snow water equivalent in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. The effects of living forest stands and dead forest stands on snowpack energetics will be measured and compared to that of open areas. This quantification should allow insight into possible effects that bushfires and climate change will have on the snowpack and hydrology of the region through changes to forest cover and structure. 

Advisor: Prof Hamish McGowan

Project members

Andrew Schwartz

PhD candidate