Minimizing Measurement Errors in Automated Snowpack Profile Temperature Measurements

TitleMinimizing Measurement Errors in Automated Snowpack Profile Temperature Measurements
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1992
AuthorsSauter, K. A., and Tanner B. D.
Conference Name60th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 60th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1992
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationJackson Hole, Wyoming
KeywordsSnowpack profile temperatures, Thermal conductance, Thermocouple

Snowpack profile temperatures were measured hourly during the winter season in the Bear River Mountains of northern Utah. A monofilament fish line ladder was constructed to support 20 junction chromel-constantan (Type E) thermocouple (TC) string in the snowpack. To minimize conductance, 0.25 mm TC wire was routed along the ground surface, up and horizontally across 10 cm spaced ladder rungs. Hourly, a datalogger measured each TC junction 10 times and calculated an average temperature.During the season, a maximum cavitation of 1 cm in diameter and 2 in depth was observed around the mono-filament support structure. Under isothermal conditions (Tsnow = 0 degrees C), TC temperatures were within +0.05 C of 0.0 C. Effects from surface conductance was evident in upper snowpack temperatures to an approximate depth of 20 cm.