Field measurements of snowdrift development rate

TitleField measurements of snowdrift development rate
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1997
AuthorsHaehnel, R. B., Lever J. H., and Tabler R. D.
Conference Name65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 65th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedMay 1997
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBanff, Alberta
KeywordsDrift topography, Modeling, Similitude, Snow drifting, Snow management

For successful snow drift modeling, similitude of drift geometry and development rate must be preserved betweenmodel and prototype. Earlier work revealed that field data documenting drift development are scarce, yet such dataare necessary to validate proposed modeling methods. This requires measurement of the evolving drift topographyand concurrent measurement of the incident mass transport and flow field throughout the drifting event. The authorsestablished a field program to measure drift development on a two-dimensional solid fence during the winters of1996 and 1997 at two field sites located in Wyoming. The developing drift topography was measured usinggraduated snow stakes placed around the objects. The incident mass transport was measured using a Wyoming snowfence as a snow trap. The incident flow field was also documented. Here we compare prototype drift geometries and development rates with corresponding preliminary model data obtained in a snow drifting wind tunnel. The field data revealed some inaccuracies in the model drift geometry anddevelopment rate which might result from distortion in snow transport concentration and particle trajectory lengths. Further work is required to minimize the effects of model distortions. The field data obtained in this work will serve as benchmark data for evaluating modeling methodologies.