GIS-simulation of the spatial distribution of snow cover and observed ground temperatures in the Daisetsu Mountains, Japan
This paper describes one geometrical method of simulating the spatial distribution of snow cover. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and precise Digital Elevation Model (DEM) were used in the simulation. The model is based on empirical parameters called coefficients depending on slope aspect and inclination. As a result, this model predicts that windward convex terrains remain snow-free during winter. This snow cover distribution was validated by usage of an air photograph taken in early spring, and the distribution of vegetation patches which represent the outer fringes of snow covered areas. Low ground temperatures together with high DC resistivities, which suggest the presence of permafrost, were identified in simulated snow-free areas.