Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 10, 1495–1511, 2016

Special issue: The World Meteorological Organization Solid Precipitation...

The Cryosphere, 10, 1495–1511, 2016

Research article 18 Jul 2016

Research article | 18 Jul 2016

Design of a scanning laser meter for monitoring the spatio-temporal evolution of snow depth and its application in the Alps and in Antarctica

Ghislain Picard et al.

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Cited articles

Cathles, L. M., Abbot, D. S., and MacAyeal, D. R.: Intra-surface radiative transfer limits the geographic extent of snow penitents on horizontal snowfields, Journal of Glaciology, 60, 147–154,, 2014.
Champollion, N., Picard, G., Arnaud, L., Lefebvre, E., and Fily, M.: Hoar crystal development and disappearance at Dome C, Antarctica: observation by near-infrared photography and passive microwave satellite, The Cryosphere, 7, 1247–1262,, 2013.
Clark, M. P., Hendrikx, J., Slater, A. G., Kavetski, D., Anderson, B., Cullen, N. J., Kerr, T., Örn Hreinsson, E., and Woods, R. A.: Representing spatial variability of snow water equivalent in hydrologic and land-surface models: A review, Water Resour. Res., 47, W07539,, 2011.
Courville, Z. R., Albert, M. R., Fahnestock, M. A., Cathles IV, L. M., and Shuman, C. A.: Impacts of an accumulation hiatus on the physical properties of firn at a low-accumulation polar site, J. Geophys. Res., 112, F02030,, 2007.
Das, I., Bell, R. E., Scambos, T. A., Wolovick, M., Creyts, T. T., Studinger, M., Frearson, N., Nicolas, J. P., Lenaerts, J. T. M., and van den Broeke, M. R.: Influence of persistent wind scour on the surface mass balance of Antarctica, Nat. Geosci., 6, 367–371,, 2013.
Short summary
A cost-effective automatic laser scan has been built to measure snow depth spatio-temporal variations. Deployed in the Alps and in Dome C (Antarctica), two devices acquired daily scans covering a surface area of 100–150 m2. The precision and long-term stability of the measurements are about 1 cm and the accuracy is better than 5 cm. These high performances are particularly suited at Dome C, where it was possible to reveal that most of the accumulation in the year 2015 stems from a single event.