Quantification of Snow Melt at HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Using Temperature Sensors

Charles Mullis

An understanding of spring snow melt is important to our understanding of hydrology and ecology. This study involved the analysis of data from several small temperature sensors placed on the ground at HJ Andrews over seven years. We assumed that a prolonged reading of 0ºC indicated that snow covered the ground around that sensor. Using images from cameras focused on these temperature sensors, we verified by eye that the temperature sensors accurately portrayed snow cover. We also attempted to classify these images automatically; however the results of this process were inaccurate. We did not find a decrease in snow cover or earlier snow melt in later years due to climate change; however, we did find that snow melt might be related to shorter-term climatic oscillations.

Department:

Geography and the Environment

Mentor(s):

Todd Lookingbill