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    Author(s): Roger Bales; Erin Stacy; Mohammad Safeeq; Xiande Meng; Matthew Meadows; Carlos Oroza; Martha Conklin; Steven Glaser; Joseph Wagenbrenner
    Date: 2018
    Source: Earth System Science Data. 10(4): 1795-1805
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)


    We strategically placed spatially distributed sensors to provide representative measures of changes in snowpack and subsurface water storage, plus the fluxes affecting these stores, in a set of nested headwater catchments. The high temporal frequency and distributed coverage make the resulting data appropriate for process studies of snow accumulation and melt, infiltration, evapotranspiration, catchment water balance, (bio)geochemistry, and other critical-zone processes. We present 8 years of hourly snow-depth, soil-moisture, and soil-temperature data, as well as 14 years of quarter-hourly streamflow and meteorological data that detail water-balance processes at Providence Creek, the upper part of which is at the current 50 % rain versus snow transition of the southern Sierra Nevada, California. Providence Creek is the long-term study cooperatively run by the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO) and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station's Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW). The 4.6 km2 montane Providence Creek catchment spans the current lower rain–snow transition elevation of 1500–2100 m. Two meteorological stations bracket the high and low elevations of the catchment, measuring air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and snow depth, and at the higher station, snow water equivalent. Paired flumes at three subcatchments and a V-notch weir at the integrating catchment measure quarter-hourly streamflow. Measurements of meteorological and streamflow data began in 2002. Between 2008 and 2010, 50 sensor nodes were added to measure distributed snow depth, air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture within the top 1 m below the surface. These sensor nodes were installed to capture the lateral differences of aspect and canopy coverage. Data are available at hourly and daily intervals by water year (1 October–30 September) in nonproprietary formats from online data repositories. Data for the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory distributed snow and soil datasets are at Kings River Experimental Watersheds meteorological data are available from and stream-discharge data are available from


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    Bales, Roger; Stacy, Erin; Safeeq, Mohammad; Meng, Xiande; Meadows, Matthew; Oroza, Carlos; Conklin, Martha; Glaser, Steven; Wagenbrenner, Joseph. 2018. Spatially distributed water-balance and meteorological data from the rain–snow transition, southern Sierra Nevada, California. Earth System Science Data. 10(4): 1795-1805.


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    KREW, CZO, climate, monitoring

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