Item: Micro- and macro- analyses of stratigraphic snow profiles
Title: Micro- and macro- analyses of stratigraphic snow profiles
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Walter Good and Georg Kriisi
Abstract: A method to prepare and investigate snow profiles is described and illustrated. Compared to the conventional and the dyed profiles, this new method has several advantages. A thin slab is prepared without mechanically disturbing weak layers or hard inclusions by using a tool with a heated wire as a cutter. The contrast is given by the sunlight from the back side of the profile. It is not falsified by damaged snow layers or an uneven distribution of the colour. Critical layers are easily detected, documented and investigated on site and samples for a micro analysis can be taken from the lateral walls. For a digital processing of the pictures, image enhancement techniques are applied. The contrasts and the results with the translucent profiles are better than with dyed profiles. Surface hoar, boundaries due to wind action and melted horizons are then subjected to a more thorough investigation by an analysis of thin sections or serial cuts. The enhancement technique uses high- and low pass filtering and edge detection algorithms. The features are then extracted by image segmentation, one of the few steps where the operator has to make subjective decisions. The structure and the texture are quantified by stereological and related parameters. The description of the relevant features, however, presents substantial problems. Moreover, the connection between structure and texture and parameters' from physical experiments is not yet solved in a satisfactory way. This contribution illustrates the structural part and does not mention the physical and acoustical measurements performed on the same snow samples.
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Keywords: snowpack, stratigraphy, surface hoar, microwaves,
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