Measurements of mid-winter spatial distribution of meltwater saturation

J.C. Kapil, Anupam Kumar, P.S. Negi
2010 Annals of Glaciology  
Under melt–freeze conditions crusts may evolve within a snowpack, which may favour avalanche initiation by forming a hard bed surface for weakly bonded faceted grains. We used a parallel-probe saturation profiler (PPSP) to record the distribution of water contents within the snowpack. Diurnal effects of melt–freeze action on the growth of crusts were monitored with the help of the PPSP device. Saturation profiles were collected from a partially wet snow cover. Snow stratigraphy was conducted
more » ... hy was conducted manually in the morning, after overnight freezing, to identify the location and the granular compositions of the crusts that had evolved. A one-to-one correspondence between the saturation spikes collected using the PPSP and the actual positions of the crusts was established. The PPSP was also used to monitor three-dimensional variations in the maximum percolation depths within a south-facing snowpack. The operation of the PPSP is faster than existing dielectric measurement techniques, so it was applied to study the spatial variability of maximum percolation depths on the slopes of different aspects.
doi:10.3189/172756410791386418 fatcat:6um3zumrjjahvbdm3huujfft5u