The isotope profiling snow gage: twenty years of experience

TitleThe isotope profiling snow gage: twenty years of experience
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1983
AuthorsKattelmann, R. C., McGurk B. J., Berg N. H., Bergman J. A., Baldwin J. A., and Hannaford M. A.
Conference Name51st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 51st Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1983
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationVancouver, Washington
KeywordsSnow density gage, Snow hydrology, Snow instrumentation, Snow profiles

The gamma transmission profiling snow gage has been in use for about two decades. Sufficient experience has now been gained to evaluate its general utility in snow hydrology research and operational forecasting. The gage produces an incremental depth-density profile with minimal disturbance of the snowpack. Its principal value lies in its ability to repeatedly measure the same vertical section of snow and thus record density changes through time. The snow gage has been an essental part of many studies in the mid-elevation snowpacks of the Sierra Nevada. Data obtained with the instrument have been subject to errors resulting from source decay, electronic variations, and physical influences of the access tubes on the measured snowpack. Overall complexity and expense of the snow gage limit its use in routine monitoring and forecasting applications. The profiling snow gage continues to have great potential in various snowpack investigations.