Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-277
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-277

  07 Sep 2021

07 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

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

Rebecca Gugerli1, Darin Desilets2, and Nadine Salzmann1 Rebecca Gugerli et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 2Hydroinnova LLC, Albuquerque, USA

Abstract. Monitoring the snow water equivalent (SWE) in the harsh environments of high mountain regions is a challenge. Here, we explore the use of muon counts to infer SWE. We deployed a muonic cosmic ray snow gauge (µ-CRSG) on a Swiss glacier during the snow rich winter season 2020/21 (almost 2000 mm w.e.). The µ-CRSG measurements agree well with measurements by a neutronic cosmic ray snow gauge (n-CRSG) and they lie within the uncertainty of manual observations. We conclude that the µ-CRSG is a highly promising method to monitor SWE in remote high mountain environments with several advantages over the n-CRSG.

Rebecca Gugerli et al.

Status: open (until 02 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-277', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Sep 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-277', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 Oct 2021 reply

Rebecca Gugerli et al.

Rebecca Gugerli et al.

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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.