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ESCYMO – Enhancing Snow CompetencY of Models and Operators

Climate change has a significant impact on the prevalence and duration of seasonal snow cover. A goal in the ESCYMO project is to develop new models and improve education and competance to meet challenges with changes in snowhydrology and effects on water resources and power production.

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About the project

The expected climate change will influence extent and duration of the seasonal snow cover. For snow dominated regions, especially in Norway, this will have considerable socio-economic consequences, for instance for infrastructure, energy supply and recreation.

Snow hydrological models are important planning tools both in terms of short-term forecasts to optimize hydropower production or flood warning, as well as for assessments of long-term evolution of water resources in a changing climate.


The primary goal of ESCYMO is to develop competence in the area of snow hydrology to optimize the use of water resources in a changing climate.

ESCYMO addresses these needs through i) research (developing the snow competence of models) and ii) education (developing the competence of operators).

The project consortium has identified a twofold competence need within operational snow hydrology:

i) Improved description of build-up and decay of the seasonal snow reservoir on various timescales. While the dynamics of the melting process and its relationship with meteorological conditions are reasonably well understood, there is a gap concerning the spatial distribution of snow within a catchment. Development of adequate methodology to model the snow distribution in terms of terrain and weather conditions is hence important. Recent technology (GPS, geo-radar, UAS) provides new possibilities to collect data of snow and related quantities.

ii) In times of changing methodology, the industry employing hydrologists has a need for adequately skilled candidates. ESCYMO will implement its findings and developments into university education to convey adequate process understanding as well as specific training in up-to-date methodology.


The project results will be helpful in identifying significant physical processes, deriving efficient parameterizations and analyzing uncertainties in hydrological modeling. The project will develop new methodology to include new types of data in hydrological models and to analyze the value of different input/criteria/structure to reduce uncertainty.

Furthermore, ESCYMO will develop learning modules and refine existing hydrology (and related topics) curriculum at the studies in geosciences at University of Oslo to enhance capability of future hydrologists to evaluate uncertainty in snow dominated catchments.


ESCYMO is a knowledge-building project seeking to contribute to industry-oriented researcher training and long-term competence development in the Norwegian research community within topics that are crucial to the development of business and industry in Norway.


Full name of the research project ESCYMO is Enhancing Snow CompetencY of Models and Operators.

The project is jointly supported by the KLIMAFORSK program of the Research Council of Norway/NFR. The project number is 244024.

The project also get financing from the Norwegian hydropower industry, i.e. Agder Energi ASE-CO Energi ASGlommens og Laagens BrukseierforeningHydro Energi AS and Statkraft AS.


Besides the cooperation with partners from the hydropower industry, ESCYMO collaborates with Globesar AS and the SnowHow-Project/SINTEF.


ESCYMO conducts field measurements at the Finse Alpine Research Center, where considerable sensor infrastructure Finse Eco-Hydrological Observatory (Finse EcHO) of the interdisciplinary research initiative LATICE is available. More infromation on links:

Model development in this project is done by use of SHYFT.

Published Sep. 30, 2016 4:32 PM - Last modified June 3, 2021 9:18 PM