Item: Fiber optic distributed temperature sensing in avalanche research
Title: Fiber optic distributed temperature sensing in avalanche research
Proceedings: 2010 International Snow Science Workshop
Authors: M. Woerndl (1)*, A. Prokop (1), S. W. Tyler (2), C. E. Hatch (2) and J. Dozier (3)
Abstract: Knowledge about snow pack stability at a certain location and at a certain point in time is important for avalanche practitioners and backcountry travelers. Due to the highly variable character of a snow coverʼs properties its current stability state is often hard to assess. The character of a snow coverʼs variability and of its driving forces, including snow temperatures, has been subject of ongoing research. Often findings have been limited due to labor-intensive measurement techniques and too small amounts of data. During the winter of 2008/2009 a Raman Spectra Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) System was installed on Mammoth Mountain, California, USA in order to investigate the systemʼs ability to cover the spatial and temporal variability of snow temperatures. DTS is a laser-light based measurement method measuring temperatures in a multitude of sample spots, simultaneously and continuously in time. Data with high relative accuracies could be achieved. The snowʼs thermal evolution could be monitored in a large number of sample spots. Spatial patterns of temperature variations at the base and within the snow pack could be detected and their evolution in time could be tracked. Additional Authors: (1) Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards, BOKU, University, Vienna, Austria. (2) Dept. of Geological Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, United States. (3) Bren School Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States.
Keywords: snow temperature, snow pack, driving forces