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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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TC | Articles | Volume 13, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 13, 3413–3434, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 13, 3413–3434, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Dec 2019

Research article | 20 Dec 2019

Continuous and autonomous snow water equivalent measurements by a cosmic ray sensor on an alpine glacier

Rebecca Gugerli et al.

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Cited articles

Ali, S. A., Aadhar, S., Shah, H. L., and Mishra, V.: Projected Increase in Hydropower Production in India under Climate Change, Sci. Rep., 8, 12450,, 2018. a
Andreasen, M., Jensen, K. H., Desilets, D., Franz, T. E., Zreda, M., Bogena, H. R., and Looms, M. C.: Status and Perspectives on the Cosmic-Ray Neutron Method for Soil Moisture Estimation and Other Environmental Science Applications, Vadose Zone J., 16, 1–11,, 2017. a, b, c, d
Barnett, T. P., Adam, J. C., and Lettenmaier, D. P.: Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions, Nature, 438, 303–309,, 2005. a
Campbell Scientific: Instruction Manual SR50A, SR50A-316SS and SR50AH Sonic Ranging Sensors, revision: 10/16 edn., available at: (last access: 14 December 2019), 2016. a, b
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The snow water equivalent (SWE) in high mountain regions is crucial for many applications. Yet its quantification remains difficult. We present autonomous daily SWE observations by a cosmic ray sensor (CRS) deployed on a Swiss glacier for two winter seasons. Combined with snow depth observations, we derive the daily bulk snow density. The validation with manual field observations and its measurement reliability show that the CRS is a promising device for high alpine cryospheric environments.
The snow water equivalent (SWE) in high mountain regions is crucial for many applications. Yet...