A one-dimensional model has been developed to simulate the evolution of snow-cover characteristics using meteorological data. This model takes into account the heat balance at the snow surface and heat conduction in the snow cover as well as liquid water flow and densification. The basic variables of the model are snow temperature, liquid water content, snow density and the solid impurities density. With these four variables, the model can calculate albedo, thermal conductivity, liquid water flux, snow depth, water equivalent and the amount of runoff.
Diurnal variation of profiles of snow temperature, water content and snow density, and meteorological elements were observed at Mount Zao Bodaira, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Simulated diurnal variation patterns of each component by the model were in good agreement with the observations. Moreover, the snow-cover characteristics were simulated for three 90-day periods with meteorological data and snow pit observations at Sapporo. It was found that the model was able to simulate long-period variations of albedo, snow depth, snow water equivalent and the snow density profile.