8) What makes snow melt?

snowmelt sequence


All good things, like this class and the seasonal snowpack, have to come to an end. With this final module, we will investigate how all of our snow melts away, and how sublimation changes to evaporation and melt.

For information in wet snow metamorphism, see Matthew Sturm lecture starting at minute 51 and 40 seconds. Also make sure to check out slush flows and wet snow mysteries at 1 hour 20 minutes and 20 seconds.

Lab 8:

Download the lab and data files to your computer. Then, upload them to your JupyterHub following the instructions here.

Homework 8, Problem 1: Energy for melt and melt rates

Using the data collected, as presented in Lab 8-1, calculate (a) the total daily energy balance, (b) the total daily change in snow temperature (okay to just estimate this and just use one of the layers a bit below the surface), (c) the total daily vertical water vapor flux, and (d) the total daily snow melt for the period from April 1 to April 21, and then, separately from April 25 to May 10. Do our data suggest that the mass and energy budgets work? If not, what do you think are the primary sources of our errors? Note: There was a power surge on May 11 that created incorrect flux numbers and broke the radiomter, so we will leave processing that data until some other time.

Homework 8, Problem 2: Feedback on class modules

To give you time to work on your final class project, instead of more analysis, just write a few sentences about which of the course labs and/or homeworks were the most challenging/frustrating and which extra help/examples/code/time/etc would help make them more accessible. Thank you!

Homework 8, BONUS!

This is extra credit, or just for fun. Thank you to Ethan, we have preliminary lidar depth data for all of the snow pillows. Returning to Lab 3 or HW 4 for example plotting code. How is snow density changing during the melt period. What is happening to depth on the various pillows in the early April period when water is ponding and breaking through ice as the snowpack ripens?