Item: Snowpack Basal Layer Facets in the Sierra Nevada
Title: Snowpack Basal Layer Facets in the Sierra Nevada
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
- Randall Osterhuber [ UC Berkeley, Central Sierra Snow Laboratory ]
Abstract: Though California’s Sierra Nevada generally experiences deep snowpacks and modest midwinter air temperatures, faceted snow grains do form and persist. The most pronounced and persistent facets have been found as basal layers of the winter and spring snowpack—snowpacks often several meters deep. Formation of these grains occurs early winter when snow depths are slight and air temperatures are low. This examination describes the basal layer snows at several locations in California’s Sierra Nevada and the Carson Range of Nevada (above the north shore of Lake Tahoe) during Winter 2006, and discusses the implications of these weak layers to avalanche potential. Also investigated are recent spring avalanche cycles in the Sierra Nevada during which wet slab avalanches released at ground level. The failure layer of these avalanches are thought to be old, wetted, faceted grains.
Language of Article: English
Keywords: facets, depth hoar, wet slab avalanche
Digital Abstract Not Available