Dhiraj Pradhananga

    Dhiraj Pradhananga

    PhD student, Department of Geography and Planning/Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan (Supervisor: John Pomeroy)

    Thesis Topic: Response of Canadian Rockies Glacier Hydrology to Changing Climate

    Glaciers are sensitive to climate change and variability. Research suggests that climate change has decreased the accumulation and increased the melt of snow and glaciers in many high mountains such as the Canadian Rockies and may potentially impact on the timing and volume of mountain streamflow. These impacts can be transmitted downstream and affect water supply for semi-arid regions such as the Canadian Prairies. This study assesses the hydrological response of a glacier to local climatic variability and change using a physically-based hydrological model. By using a physically-based energy balance snow and ice ablation model and a blowing snow redistribution model in the Cold Regions Hydrological Model Platform (CRHM), transient changes and sensitivities to the hydrological response will be diagnosed for a well monitored glacierized basin over a 50 year observational period. The coupled model will be developed and tested based on hydro-meteorological observations at a high mountain glacier under contrasting hydro-climatic conditions. This project will both improve our understanding of how climate, snow regimes and glacier configurations interact to generate mountain streamflow regimes and will improve the hydrological modelling capacity in mountain cold regions. It will also help anticipate the development of new hydrological regimes as the Canadian Rockies continue to deglaciate over the next century.

    Awards and Scholarships

    • 2014 Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship