The Alpine Snow Cover Analysis System (ASCAS) is designed for monitoring changes of the snow-cover distribution in mountainous regions as well as for the determination of snowmelt runoff and evaluation of climate change effects. The transfer of data between the different software packages (that is, image processing, geographic information system, database management system, hydrologic model, and visualization of results) is essential for operational use of ASCAS. The paper describes user-developed and commercial (modified for operational use) interfaces that must exist to enable the data exchange. It is envisioned that such a system would be useful for hydropower companies for runoff simulation and forecasting, climate change evaluations, and site characterization in cold regions.
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