A stratified sampling design for snow surveys based on terrain shape

TitleA stratified sampling design for snow surveys based on terrain shape
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1974
AuthorsYoung, G. J.
Conference Name42nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 42nd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1974
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAnchorage, Alaska
KeywordsSnow cover - distribution of glaciers, Snow -measurement

A stratified sampling design for snow accumulation studies is described. The design is currently being used on five glaciers in Western Canada. The method can also be applied to non-glacierized basins.Difficulties of mapping snow cover distributon and of calculating areal totals of snowpack volume are discussed. Previous studies have shown that snow depths at point locations are associated with slope angle and local relief of the surface; it is argued that if depth samples are taken in areas of mean surface slope and mean local relief, then mean snow depth will be realistically defined. To this end, meaures of surface slope and local relief are generated at all grid line intersections of a square mesh (of interval 100m) covering the glacier. The glacier surface is then classified into areas which are typical in terms of these measures. Depth sampling is carried out within such 'typical' areas.A detailed discussion is given of how the method can be implemented for a study area.