Ground surveys and aerial observations were used to monitor rapidly changing moisture conditions in the Salt-Verde watershed. Repetitive satellite snow cover observations greatly reduce the necessity for routine aerial snow reconnaissance flights over the mountains. High resolution, multispectral imagery provided by LANDSAT satellite series enabled rapid and accurate mapping of snow-cover distributions for small- to medium-sized subwatersheds; however, the imagery provided only one observation every 9 days of about a third of the watershed. Low resolution imagery acquired by the ITOSa dn SMS/GOES meteorological satellite series provides the daily synoptic observation necessary to monitor the rapid changes in snow-covered area in the entire watershed. Short term runoff volumes can be predicted from daily sequential snow cover observations.
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING