Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
Brief communication
10 Mar 2022
Brief communication |  | 10 Mar 2022

Brief communication: Application of a muonic cosmic ray snow gauge to monitor the snow water equivalent on alpine glaciers

Rebecca Gugerli, Darin Desilets, and Nadine Salzmann

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

Avdyushin, S. I., Kolomeyets, E. V., Nazarov, I. M., Pegoyev, A. N., and Fridman, S. D.: Application of Cosmic Rays To the Solution of Some Hydrological Problems, in: Proceeedings of the Exeter Symposium July 1982, IAHS Publ. no. 138, 1982. a
Choquette, Y., Lavigne, P., Nadeau, M., Ducharm, P., Martin, J., Houdayer, A., and Rogoza, J.: GMON, a new sensor for snow water equivalent via gamma monitoring, in: Proceedings Whistler 2008 International Snow Science Workshop, 21–27 September 2008, Whistler, B.C., 802–807, (last access: 8 March 2022), 2008. a
de Mendonça, R. R. S., Braga, C. R., Echer, E., Lago, A. D., Munakata, K., Kuwabara, T., Kozai, M., Kato, C., Rockenbach, M., Schuch, N. J., Jassar, H. K. A., Sharma, M. M., Tokumaru, M., Duldig, M. L., Humble, J. E., Evenson, P., and Sabbah, I.: The temperature effect in secondary cosmic rays (muons) observed at the ground: Analysis of the global muon detector network data, The Astrophys. J., 830, 88,, 2016. a
Desilets, D., Zreda, M., and Ferré, T. P.: Nature's neutron probe: Land surface hydrology at an elusive scale with cosmic rays, Water Resour. Res., 46, W11505,, 2010. a
Ganeva, M., Peglow, S., Hippler, R., Berkova, M., and Yanke, V.: Seasonal variations of the muon flux seen by muon telescope MuSTAnG, J. Phys. Conf. Ser., 409, 012242,, 2013. a
Short summary
Monitoring the snow water equivalent (SWE) in high mountain regions is highly important and a challenge. We explore the use of muon counts to infer SWE temporally continuously. We deployed muonic cosmic ray snow gauges (µ-CRSG) on a Swiss glacier over the winter 2020/21. Evaluated with manual SWE measurements and SWE estimates inferred from neutron counts, we conclude that the µ-CRSG is a highly promising method for remote high mountain regions with several advantages over other current methods.