The application of isotopic profiling snow gauge data to avalanche research

TitleThe application of isotopic profiling snow gauge data to avalanche research
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1976
AuthorsArmstrong, R. L.
Conference Name44th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 44th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1976
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationCalgary, Alberta
KeywordsAvalanche research, Radioactive snow gauges, Snow gauges

The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado, has been conducting research into the nature and causes of snow avalanches in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. An isotopic profiling snow gauge has been operated in conjunction with the research during five winter seasons. Specifications and a brief history of the development of the two types of gauges which have been operated at the Red Mountain Pass snow study site are presented.The structure of the existing snowcover and the amount and rate of additional new snow accumulation are of critical importance in avalanche studies. Conventional methods for acquiring this tpe of information are compared with data available from the profiling snow gauge. Additional data analysis relating to the study of the physical and mechanical properties of snow is presented. Techniques regarding the location, installation and operation of a profiling snow gauge for avalanche forecasting and research are discussed.