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INSTAAR seminar: Shad O'Neel - Building capacity to measure snow

Monday, November 29, 2021, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Shad O'Neel

Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Army Corps of Engineers



Snow forms a primary water resource, but is notoriously challenging to measure, even at the point scale. To boot, extreme spatial variability limits the utility of point measurements. My talk will focus on four efforts to better resolve snow (and snow water equivalence; SWE) distributions in different snow environments. At Alaska’s Wolverine Glacier, a water balance analysis highlights how glaciers influence snow variability and runoff, and a sensor integration study illustrates how distributed winter mass balance can be obtained.    

Ultimately, we would like to measure SWE from space, but today, this remains a distant goal. I will present work from the Grand Mesa CO demonstrating how combined lidar–radar surveys are moving us closer to this goal. Finally, I'll introduce a new project in the Boise, ID area where we are using in situ observations, a suite of airborne platforms and machine learning to resolve SWE in complex mountain terrain.  


All are welcome - contact for the Zoom link or to be added to our seminars listserv.