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Scaling and Representative Measurements for Snowpack Sampling

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Alexandra Weiss.

Over 100 year ago, Professor James Church started measuring the snowpack in the Mount Rose/Lake Tahoe (California/Nevada United States) area for snowmelt runoff estimation. Across the western US, this prompted the implementation of the snowcourse data that comprised monthly snowpack measurements at up to 2000 locations. In the late 1970s, this network was supplemented by the automated snow telemetry (SNOTEL) network that now has over 800 stations measuring snow and related variables on a daily or even hourly basis. These two network provide a wealth of information, but have a variety of limitations too. What happens in areas where we do not have many measurements? Snow depth is a simple variable to measure, but how representative are the measurements? Operational data are used with field data to illustrate how we need to sample the snowpack, especially to consider scales of sampling and how representative measurements are. Remotely sensed data are presented that can integrate field and point measurements to larger areas while expanding the period of record or sampling interval.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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