Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
Research article
21 Apr 2023
Research article |  | 21 Apr 2023

Impact of the sampling procedure on the specific surface area of snow measurements with the IceCube

Julia Martin and Martin Schneebeli

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Cited articles

A2 Photonic Sensors: User Manual: IceCube Optical system for the measurement of the specific surface area (SSA) of snow, Tech. rep., 2014. a, b
Baumann, P.: Influence of black carbon on the measurement of the specific surface of snow with the near infrared method, Tech. rep.,, 2017. a
Brandt, R. E., Warren, S. G., and Clarke, A. D.: A controlled snowmaking experiment testing the relation between black carbon content and reduction of snow albedo, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 116, D08109,, 2011. a
Domine, F., Taillandier, A. S., and Simpson, W. R.: A parameterization of the specific surface area of seasonal snow for field use and for models of snowpack evolution, J. Geophys. Res., 112, 1–13,, 2007. a
Domine, F., Albert, M., Huthwelker, T., Jacobi, H.-W., Kokhanovsky, A. A., Lehning, M., Picard, G., and Simpson, W. R.: Snow physics as relevant to snow photochemistry, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 171–208,, 2008. a
Short summary
The grain size of snow determines how light is reflected and other physical properties. The IceCube measures snow grain size at the specific near-infrared wavelength of 1320 nm. In our study, the preparation of snow samples for the IceCube creates a thin layer of small particles. Comparisons of the grain size with computed tomography, particle counting and numerical simulation confirm the aforementioned observation. We conclude that measurements at this wavelength underestimate the grain size.