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Snow Observation in Svalbard (SIOS 2017_0018) (SOS)

Snow covers Svalbard entirely during 7 to 9 months of the year, thus constituting the primary medium that connects atmosphere, terrestrial and marine systems in the Arctic.

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Project date

Starts
2017-11-27

Ends
2018-05-01

Project status

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Project type

  • field work
  • remote sensing
  • long-term monitoring
  • data management
  • sios

Discipline

  • cryosphere

Project Keywords

  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow/ice chemistry
  • cryosphere / glaciers/ice sheets / glacier mass balance/ice sheet mass balance
  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow cover
  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow depth

Fieldwork information

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Summary

Snow covers Svalbard entirely during 7 to 9 months of the year, thus constituting the primary medium that connects atmosphere, terrestrial and marine systems in the Arctic. Most research groups encounter snow during their field campaigns, but no systematic field program to even measure basic snow parameters exists. Due to the strong spatial and temporal variability of snow properties at the landscape scale, it is difficult to develop afield measurement program that can capture the fine details of these parameters. It is therefore necessary to develop a simple, robust and harmonized monitoring field work strategy in order to collect the crucial and basic parameters and compare them with models and remote sensing output, and to extend the observation of snow to all of Svalbard.The Svalbard Snow Network group composed of active and young researchers working in different areas of snow research in Svalbard will contribute to the SEES report by listing the existing data and determining the current largest and most crucial gaps in snow data that SIOS should contribute to fill in. We will also use this unique opportunity to make a small ground scooter traverse with researchers doing field work in Ny-Ålesund and Hornsund in order to visit both stations and their field sites as well as the on-going monitoring projects at each station. This exchange of personnel will allow us to develop the most appropriate and realistic joint research program in the future. During the traverse, we will carry out a geophysical survey, and the data will be provided to SIOS. We will also provide a simple protocol to measure in the field what we feel to be the most urgent data in term of snow properties. As a first step, we need to improve basic physical measurements, but we need to consider integrating other types of snow data in the future. The work suggested here can be expanded to cover other fields of interest that have to first be discussed with the other SIOS groups.

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