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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
22 Feb 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Snow observations in Mount-Lebanon (2011–2016)
Abbas Fayad1,2, Simon Gascoin1, Ghaleb Faour2, Pascal Fanise1, Laurent Drapeau1, Janine Somma3, Ali Fadel2, Ahmad Al Bitar1, and Richard Escadafal1 1Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère (CESBIO), UPS/CNRS/IRD/CNES, Toulouse, France
2National Council for Scientific Research/Remote Sensing Center (CNRS/NCRS), Beirut, Lebanon
3Saint Jospeh University, Beirut, Lebanon
Abstract. We present a unique meteorological and snow observational dataset in Mount-Lebanon, a mountainous region with a Mediterranean climate, where snowmelt is an essential water resource. The study region covers the recharge area of three karstic river basins (total area of 1092 km2 and an elevation up to 3088 m). The dataset consists of: (1) continuous meteorological and snow height observations; (2) snowpack field measurements; and (3) medium resolution satellite snow cover data. The continuous meteorological measurements at three automatic weather stations (MZA 2296 m, LAQ 1840 m, and CED 2834 m a.s.l.) include surface air temperature and humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, incoming and reflected shortwave irradiance, and snow height, at 30 minute intervals for the snow seasons (November–June) between 2011 and 2016 for MZA and 2014–2016 for CED and LAQ. Precipitation data was filtered and corrected for Geonor undercatch. Observations of snow height (HS), snow water equivalent, and snow density were collected at 30 snow courses located at elevations between 1300 and 2900 m a.s.l. during the two snow seasons 2014–2016 with an average revisit time of 11 days. Daily gap-free snow cover extent (SCA) and snow cover duration (SCD) maps derived from MODIS snow products are provided for the same period (2011–2016). We used the dataset to characterize mean snow height, snow water equivalent (SWE), and density for the first time in Mount-Lebanon. Snow seasonal variability was characterized with high HS and SWE variance and a relatively high snow density mean equal to 467 kg m−3. We find that the relationship between snow depth and snow density is specific to the Mediterranean climate. The current model explained 34 % of the variability in the entire dataset (all regions between 1300 and 2900 m a.s.l.) and 62 % for high mountain regions (elevation 2200–2900 m a.s.l.). The dataset is suitable for the investigation of snow dynamics and for the forcing and validation of energy balance models. Therefore, this data set bears the potential to greatly improve the quantification of snowmelt and mountain hydrometeorological processes in this data-scarce region of the Eastern Mediterranean. The doi for the data is: 10.5281/zenodo.291405.

Citation: Fayad, A., Gascoin, S., Faour, G., Fanise, P., Drapeau, L., Somma, J., Fadel, A., Al Bitar, A., and Escadafal, R.: Snow observations in Mount-Lebanon (2011–2016), Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Abbas Fayad et al.

Data sets

Snow dataset for Mount-Lebanon (2011–2016)
A. Fayad, S. Gascoin, G. Faour, P. Fanise, and L. Drapeau
Abbas Fayad et al.


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Short summary
Snow melt plays a key role in the replenishment of the karst groundwater in Lebanon. The proper estimation of the water contained in the snowpack is one of Lebanon's most challenging questions. In this paper, we present continuous meteorological and snow course observations for the first time in the snow-dominated regions of Mount-Lebanon. This new dataset can be used to feed an advanced snowpack model and is the first step towards a better evaluation of the snow melt in Lebanon.
Snow melt plays a key role in the replenishment of the karst groundwater in Lebanon. The proper...