Item: Near-surface faceted crystals on a slope covered with stone pine trees
Title: Near-surface faceted crystals on a slope covered with stone pine trees
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: Peter Höller
Abstract: This paper presents snow surface temperature measurements as well as snow temperature investigations in the uppermost layer of the snowpack on a slope covered with stone pine trees. The experimental site was in the Kühtai (appr. 1950 m MSL) which is about 35 km from Innsbruck, Austria. Measurements were done on three characteristic sites (great clearing, small clearing, forest) which were situated on a north-facing slope (inclination appr. 30°). The investigations were carried out in January 1999, December 2000 and January 2001.The temperature of the snow surface and the uppermost layer of the snowpack can differ strongly during clear nights. This high temperature gradient in the uppermost centimeters of the snowpack leads to the formation of near-surface faceted crystals. The highest temperature gradient was measured in the great clearing with a maximum of 130 °C m-1 (31 December 2000). While in January 1999 near-surface faceted crystals were documented only in the great clearing, in January 2001 faceted crystals could be identified in the small clearing too. This seems to be a result of the different temperature gradients which were higher in January 2001 than in January 1999. However, no faceted crystals were found in the forest (neither in 1999 nor in 2001).
Keywords: snow metamorphism, forest, avalanches
Digital Abstract Not Available