Spatially Distributed Wind Slab Depth in Tuckerman Ravine

January 21, 2022 at 11:00 AM
Name: Cameron Wagner| University of New Hampshire
Location: Tuckerman Ravine

For my masters thesis research project I am creating snow depth maps in east coast avalanche terrain to better quantify distributed wind slab depth. This is done by processing UAV (unmanned areal vehicle) collected photogrammetry with a structure from motion algorithm. The output of the program is a digital surface model which is essentially a topography map of the snow surface. Flying after snow accumulation events allows these surface models to be subtracted, leading to a snow depth model. This process is accurate in trends in the snow slab over space, but not to be used as guides as to exactly what the depth is at a certain location. Below is the snow depth accumulation from January 8th to January 21st as well as the total observed snow depth compared to October baseline snow off data. Red areas show little to no change in depth while the darker the blue areas show the most slab formation. Visually looking at the terrain after a snow and wind event will point you towards where the slabs are formed, but this method quantifies the depth on a 5 centimeter resolution. This map is intended to be used as yet another another tool for backcountry trip planning. Please feel free to reach out to me at cameron.wagner@unh.edu with any further questions, comments, or suggestions to improve the distribution of this model.

Special thanks to ERDC CRREL for providing cloud based structure from motion processing workflow