13 Mar 2024
 | 13 Mar 2024

openAMUNDSEN v 0.8.3: an open source snow-hydrological model for mountain regions

Ulrich Strasser, Michael Warscher, Erwin Rottler, and Florian Hanzer

Abstract. openAMUNDSEN (= the open source version of the Alpine MUltiscale Numerical Distributed Simulation ENgine) is a fully distributed model, designed primarily for calculating the seasonal evolution of a snow cover and melt rates in mountain regions. It resolves the mass and energy balance of snow covered surfaces and layers of the snowpack beneath, thereby including the most important processes that are relevant in such regions. The potential model applications are very versatile; typically, it is applied in areas ranging from the point scale to the regional scale (i.e., up to some thousands of square kilometers), using a spatial resolution of 10–1000 m and a temporal resolution of 1–3 h or daily. Temporal horizons may vary between single events and climate change scenarios. The openAMUNDSEN model has been applied for manyfold applications already which are referenced herein. It features a spatial interpolation of meteorological observations, several layers of snow with different density and liquid water content, wind-induced lateral redistribution, snow-canopy interaction, glacier ice response to climate and more. The model can be configured according to each specific application case. A basic consideration for its development was to include a variety of process descriptions of different complexity to set up individual model runs which best match a compromise between physical detail, transferability, simplicity as well as performance for a certain region in the European Alps, typically a (preferably gauged) hydrological catchment. The Python model code and example data are available for the public as open source project (Hanzer et al., 2023).

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Ulrich Strasser, Michael Warscher, Erwin Rottler, and Florian Hanzer

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-193', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Apr 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ulrich Strasser, 26 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-193', Richard L.H. Essery, 14 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ulrich Strasser, 26 Apr 2024
Ulrich Strasser, Michael Warscher, Erwin Rottler, and Florian Hanzer

Data sets

Operational and experimental snow observation systems in the upper Rofental: data from 2017 to 2023 M. Warscher, T. Marke, E. Rottler, and U. Strasser

Ulrich Strasser, Michael Warscher, Erwin Rottler, and Florian Hanzer


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Short summary
openAMUNDSEN is a fully distributed open source snow-hydrological model for mountain catchments. The model includes process representations of empirical, semi-empirical and physical nature. It uses temperature, precipitation, humidity, radiation and wind speed as forcing data, is computationally efficient, of modular nature and easily extendible. The Python model code is available on GitHub (, including a documentation (