Nicolas Leroux

    Nicolas Leroux

    PhD student, Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan (Supervisor: John Pomeroy)

    Thesis Topic: Water and energy flows through mountain snowpacks

    Accurate estimation of the water flux through melting snowpacks is of primary importance for runoff prediction. In order to better predict the timing and magnitude of snowmelt runoff from mountainous snowpacks, energy and water flows through snow must be better understood and accounted in snowmelt models. Many studies have been conducted and theories developed to estimate water routing from the surface down to the base of snowpacks. These studies and theories only partially consider the accepted physical principles governing flow through porous media. Models of snowpack hydrology partially reflect these findings, but the many assumptions made to simplify snow matrix and water flow process prevent these models from working accurately in deep sloping snowpacks, which dominate the landscape in mountains. Therefore, this research aims to address some of the limitations in the current theories, such as the formation of flow fingers and ice layers, and their impacts on the water percolating down a snowpack. By understanding these features through intensive field work and the development of a 2D snow model that accounts for them, the prediction of snowmelt hydrographs will be greatly enhanced. Such a model could then be upscaled and applied to mountain catchments and other locations where the flow of water through snowpacks impacts streamflow hydrograph generation.


    Awards and Scholarships

    • Best student paper, Wiesnet Medal, Eastern Snow Conference Annual Meeting, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

    Research Interests

    • Snow melt
    • Water flow dynamics
    • Energy fluxes
    • Modelling

    Educational Background

    Engineering Degree in Fluid Dynamics, ENSEEIHT, INP Toulouse, Toulouse, France

    Other Information