Using inexpensive temperature sensors to monitor the duration and heterogeneity of snow-covered areas



[1] Small, self-recording temperature sensors can be deployed quickly and inexpensively to monitor spatial and temporal patterns of snow accumulation and melt in complex environments. Burying these sensors slightly below the soil surface provides a record of the presence or absence of snow cover because near-surface soil temperatures only experience diurnal temperature oscillations when they are not covered by an insulating layer of snow. When combined with an air temperature record and snowmelt model, the date snow cover disappears can be used to approximate the amount of snow that accumulated at the start of the melt season.