Snow Cover and Snowmelt Floods in Belarus
Boris Fashchevsky1 and Alexander Pachomov2
This report focuses on assessment of peculiarities of snow cover forming in Belarus both in time and
spatial aspects. Frequency curves are carried out at the main point observations (over 100) for a long-
term period of snow-cover characteristics: maximum height and maximum reserve of water equiva-
lent of snow cover. The maps of maximum height and maximum water equivalent of snow cover are
compiled in the years of 95, 50, 25, 5, and 1% frequency. Moreover, the computations of spatial
variation of maximum height and maximum reserve snow cover are made on selected directions.
The mean (50% frequency) maximum height of snow cover changes from 710 cm in river basins of
the Zap, Bug, and the Prypyat to 2530 cm in headwaters of the Dnieper and the Zap Dvina. The
mean (50% frequency) maximum of reserve of water equivalent of snow cover on the open field
plots changes from 30 to 110 mm, increasing to the northeast. The snow-cover height and reserve of
water equivalent can be much higher in forests, bushes, and relief reduction. A lot of snow accumu-
lates, especially in deciduous forests and at the forest glades, where reserve of water composes 120
150% of the reserve of water in field plots at the beginning of snowmelt. A forecast statistical model
of volume and maximum level of snowmelt flood is elaborated on an example of the Prypyat river.
This model takes into consideration the peculiarities of snow-cover formation in different years
(frozen crust of snow, antecedent soil moistening, and so on). For this model, elaboration of snow
cover as well as flow headwaters and the right tributaries data of the Prypyat river in the Ukraine
were attracted. Computations made using this model gave good results.
University of Modern Knowledge, 48-99 Kalinovskogo Str, Minsk 220086, Republic of Belarus
Institute of Water Resources, 34-2-117 Tikotski Str, Minsk 220119, Republic of Belarus