Item: The affect of snow density on the temperature gradient
Title: The affect of snow density on the temperature gradient
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: Robert S. Rosso, Lakeside, Montana
Abstract: Temperature data loggers were positioned on three marked layers during the early season in the Collins Snow Study Plot, Alta, Utah. A series of pits were dug every two or three days over the next two months adjacent to the data loggers. The depths of the layers of interest along with the snow densities between the layers were recorded. Over 6000 temperature measurements and over 1000 density measurements were taken in 23 snow pits from Feb. 14,2000 through April 12, 2000. After recovering the data loggers and analyzing the results, a graph of temperature gradient vs. snow density was created. The graph shows a trend of lower gradients for low-density snow, high gradients for medium densities (150 Kg/m3 to 240 Kg/m3), and lowest gradients for high-density snow. A theory to explain this relationship is presented. The application of this theory is then applied to help understand the accelerated growth of weak faceted crystals in the upper part of the snowpack under certain conditions and in the lower part of the snowpack on skier compacted slopes.
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Keywords: snow compaction, snow density, snow settlement, snow temperature
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