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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2020-14
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GI.

Performance of snow density measurement systems in snow stratigraphies

Jiansheng Hao1,2,3,4, Farong Huang1,2,3,4,5, Ditao Cheng1,2,3, Shuyong Mu6, and Lanhai Li1,2,3,4,5 Jiansheng Hao et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
  • 2Ili Station for Watershed Ecosystem Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinyuan 835800, China
  • 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 4CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia, Urumqi 830011, Xinjiang, China
  • 5Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Utilization in Arid Zone, Urumqi 830011, Xinjiang, China
  • 6Xinjiang Regional Center of Resources and Environmental Science Instrument, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China

Abstract. Gravimetric and dielectric permittivity measuring systems are applied to measure snow density, but few studies have addressed differences between the two measurement systems under complex snowpack conditions. A field experiment was conducted to measure snow density using the two measurement systems in different stratigraphical layers consisting of fragmented precipitation particles (DF), faceted crystals particles (FC), depth hoar (DH) and melt forms (MF), and the performance of measurement systems were analyzed and compared. The results showed that the measured density from the gravimetric measurement system was significantly higher than from the dielectric permittivity measurement system. The precision and accuracy of the gravimetric measurement system was higher than that of the dielectric permittivity measurement system in the DF, FC and DH layers, but the precision and accuracy of two measurement systems were similar in the MF layers. By comparing the precision and accuracy as well as merits and drawbacks of the two measurement systems, it was concluded that using gravimetric measurement system during dry snow and dielectric permittivity measurement system during wet snow will help surveyors obtain more reliable data. Furthermore, the study provided an approach which will facilitate the integration of the data obtained from different studies with different measurement systems into global databases.

Jiansheng Hao et al.

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Jiansheng Hao et al.

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