Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies

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Colorado Dust-on-Snow (CODOS)
With direct funding support from stakeholders, CODOS monitors the presence/absence of dust layers at 11 mountain pass locations throughout Colorado.

With those data, data from nearby Snotel sites, and weather forecasts, CODOS provides its funders with a series of “Update” analyses of how dust-on-snow is likely to influence snowmelt timing and rates during the snowmelt runoff season.

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The Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies serves the mountain science community and regional resource managers by hosting & conducting interdisciplinary research and conducting integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant community and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.
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     CODOS Updates > News for April 26, 2013

Dust-induced Snow Surface Roughness

On Friday, April 26, the CSAS crew captured a series of 50 closeup photos of snow surface roughness along a 9 meter transect at Red Mountain Pass.  Kim Buck is seen photographing the far end of the transect, where recent clean snow remained comparatively smooth.  At the near end, in this photo, dust layers D6, D7 and D8 have fully merged and accelerated snowmelt while also increasing surface roughness.  We are interested in whether dust-induced surface roughness could result snowpack SWE losses, due to evaporation and/or sublimation.  CSAS and CODOS will present the complete photo transect produced during this session, and other imagery of surface roughness effects, in coming months.  

Chris Landry, Executive Director
Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies
PO Box 190, Silverton, CO 81433 USA
(970) 387-5080