A field determination of free water content in wet snow

TitleA field determination of free water content in wet snow
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1956
AuthorsWilliams, G. P.
Conference Name24th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 24th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1956
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationPenticton, British Columbia
KeywordsFree water content, Snow quality, Snow research

The results of investigations and tests of a method for determining the free water content of snow by measuring compacted density are reported. Best results were obtained by inserting snow loosely in one inch layers in a 250 cc. container and tamping each layer 4 times by dropping a 1 kg. weight 10 cm. A good relation was found between free water content and compacted density, especially for settled and coarse spring snow as well as water content above 5%; below 5% there was more variation in the relationship. The rate at which compacted density increases with water content above 5% was compared for different types of snow. Fine-grained snow tended to compress to a higher density than coarser snow. The advantage of the method is that it gives information on the physical structure of wet snow during the tests.