1. General Model Information

Name: Snowmelt Runoff Model

Acronym: SRM

Main medium: terrestrial
Main subject: hydrology
Organization level: landscape
Type of model: 2D
Main application:
Keywords: snowmelt, runoff, forecast, streamflow,mountain basins,alpine


A. Rango, R. Roberts
USDA Hydrology Laboratory
Agricultural Research Service
Beltsville, Maryland, USA
email:alrango@hydrolab.arsusda.gov and rroberts@hydrolab.arsusda.gov


J. Martinec, A. Rango, R. Roberts


The Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM) is a simple degree-day model that requires remote sensing input in the form of basin or zonal snow cover extent. The model has been tested successfully on over 60 basins worldwide in the simulation and forecast modes. Model variables are derived from actual observations of temperature, precipitation, and snow covered area. Model parameters can either be derived from measurements or estimated by hydrological judgement taking into account the basin characteristics, physical laws, and theoretical or empirical relationships. To facilitate use of SRM, a microcomputer version of the program has been developed for IBM compatible personal computers. The program itself features user-oriented input and multiple self-help screens which allow the user to select the kind of data input employed and the output products desired.

The SRM is designed to simulate and forecast daily streamflow in mountain basins where snowmelt is a major runoff factor. SRM was developed by Martinec (1975) in small European basins. Thanks to the progress of satellite remote sensing of snow cover, SRM has been applied to larger and larger basins. The largest basin where SRM has been applied so far is about 122000 kmē. Runoff computations by SRM appear to be relatively easily understood. To date the model has been applied by various agencies, institutes and universities in about 60 basins situated in 19 different countries. About 30% of these applications have been performed by the model developers and 70% by independent users. SRM also successfully underwent tests by the World Meteorological Organization with regard to runoff simulations (WMO, 1986) and to partially simulated conditions of real time runoff forecasts (WMO, 1992).

The model has the great advantage that it works with a minimum number of ground stations - very important in developing countries, where the funds for supporting many ground stations in mountainous areas are at the moment just not available. It relies on satellite data and GIS ground information instead.

Source of the Abstract: SRM Home Page

II. Technical Information

II.1 Executables:

Operating System(s):
  • Download SRM, Version 4.01

    II.2 Source-code:

    Programming Language(s):

    II.3 Manuals:

  • Version 4 User's Manual (Adobe Acrobat .pdf format)
  • SRM online-Manual

    II.4 Data:

    III. Mathematical Information

    III.1 Mathematics

    see SRM online-Manual

    III.2 Quantities

    III.2.1 Input

    see SRM online-Manual

    III.2.2 Output

    see SRM online-Manual

    IV. References

    Martinec, J., 1960: The degree-day factor for snowmelt runoff forecasting, IUGG General Assembly of Helsinki, IAHS Commission of Surface Waters, IAHS Publ. No. 51, 468-477.
    Martinec, J., 1970: Study of snowmelt runoff process in two representative watersheds with different elevation range, IAHS- Unesco Symposium, Wellington, N.Z., IAHS Publ. No. 96, 29-39.
    Martinec, J., 1975: Snowmelt-Runoff Model for stream flow forecasts, Nordic Hydrology, Vol. 6(3), 145-154.
    Martinec, J., 1985: Time in hydrology. In J. C. Rodda (ed.): Facets of Hydrology, Vol. II, John Wiley & Sons, London, 249-290.
    Martinec, J. and Rango, A., 1986: Parameter values for snowmelt runoff modeling, Journal of Hydrology 84, 197-219.
    Martinec, J. and Rango, A., 1989b: Effects of climate change on snowmelt runoff patterns, Remote Sensing and Large-Scale Global Processes (Proceedings of the Baltimore Symposium), IAHS Publ. No. 186, 31-38.
    Martinec, J. and Rango, A., 1989a: Merits of statistical criteria for the performance of hydrological models, Water Resources Bulletin, 25(20), 421-432.
    Martinec, J., Rango, A. and Major, E., 1983: The Snowmelt-Runoff Model (SRM) User's Manual, NASA Reference Publication 1100, Washington, D.C., 118 pp.
    Rango, A. and Martinec, J., 1988: Results from international intercomparisons of snowmelt runoff model performance, Proceedings of the 45th Annual Eastern Snow Conference, Lake Placid, New York, 121-128.
    Rango, A. and Martinec, J., 1993: Areal extent of seasonal snow cover in a changed climate, Nordic Hydrology, 12 pp.
    Rango, A. and van Katwijk, V., 1990a: Development and testing of a snowmelt runoff forecasting technique, Water Resources Bulletin, 26 (1), 135-144.
    Rango, A. and van Katwijk, V., 1990b: Water supply implications of climate change in western North American basins, Proceedings of the Symposium on International and Transboundary Water Resources Issues, American Water Resources Association, Toronto, 577-586.
    Shafer, B. A., Jones, E. B. and Frick, D. M., 1981: Snowmelt Runoff Simulations Using the Martinec-Rango Model on the South Fork Rio Grande and Conejos River in Colorado, AgRISTARS Report CP-G1-04072, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

    V. Further information in the World-Wide-Web

    VI. Additional remarks

    Last review of this document by: T. Gabele: 05. 11. 1998
    Status of the document:
    last modified by Tobias Gabele Wed Aug 21 21:44:50 CEST 2002

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