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Snow Cover Measurements [Sturm, M., J. Holmgren, D. Perovich, T. Tucker, B. Elder, J. Richter-Menge]



Snow covers Arctic sea ice for 8-9 months of the year, increasing the albedo and greatly reducing the sensible heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean. The spatial variability and temporal evolution of snow depth is of fundamental interest. At the beginning of the experiment, we laid out five survey lines. Surveys of snow depth were routinely conducted along these lines throughout the SHEBA year. Measurements were made every 1-2 weeks from October through May and every other day from June through August. The surveys consisted of walking along a line and measuring snow depth every 1-5 m. Snow depth was measured either manually using a graduated ski pole or automatically using a magnaprobe. Manual measurements were rounded off to the nearest centimeter and magnaprobe values were accurate to better than 0.5 cm. Care was taken to repeat the surveys along the same lines, but no attempt was made to measure at exactly the same points. During summer, pond depths, as well as snow depths, were measured along these lines. For additional documentation, start with the snow.htm file contained in the zip file

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Additional information

  • 1.0 (2007-11-02)
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Related projects
Spatial Type unknown
Frequency other
Language English
ISO Topic Categories
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
GCMD Science Keywords Expand keywords
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Temporal coverage

Begin datetime 1997-10-01 00:00:00
End datetime 1998-09-30 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 80.00, Minimum (South) Latitude: 70.00
Minimum (West) Longitude: -170.00, Maximum (East) Longitude: -130.00

Primary point of contact information

EOL Data Support <>

Additional contact information


Sturm, M., et al. 2007. Snow Cover Measurements. Version 1.0. UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory. Accessed 23 Jul 2024.

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