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Volume 10, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 549-563, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-549-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Hydrometeorological data from mountain and alpine research...

Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 549-563, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-549-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 14 Mar 2018

Review article | 14 Mar 2018

Hourly mass and snow energy balance measurements from Mammoth Mountain, CA USA, 2011–2017

Edward H. Bair1, Robert E. Davis2, and Jeff Dozier3 Edward H. Bair et al.
  • 1Earth Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3060, USA
  • 2Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
  • 3Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA

Abstract. The mass and energy balance of the snowpack govern its evolution. Direct measurement of these fluxes is essential for modeling the snowpack, yet there are few sites where all the relevant measurements are taken. Mammoth Mountain, CA USA, is home to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and University of California – Santa Barbara Energy Site (CUES), one of five energy balance monitoring sites in the western US. There is a ski patrol study site on Mammoth Mountain, called the Sesame Street Snow Study Plot, with automated snow and meteorological instruments where new snow is hand-weighed to measure its water content. There is also a site at Mammoth Pass with automated precipitation instruments. For this dataset, we present a clean and continuous hourly record of selected measurements from the three sites covering the 2011–2017 water years. Then, we model the snow mass balance at CUES and compare model runs to snow pillow measurements. The 2011–2017 period was marked by exceptional variability in precipitation, even for an area that has high year-to-year variability. The driest year on record, and one of the wettest years, occurred during this time period, making it ideal for studying climatic extremes. This dataset complements a previously published dataset from CUES containing a smaller subset of daily measurements. In addition to the hand-weighed SWE, novel measurements include hourly broadband snow albedo corrected for terrain and other measurement biases. This dataset is available with a digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.21424/R4159Q.

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The mass and energy balance of the snowpack govern its evolution. Here, we present a fully filtered and model-ready dataset containing a continuous hourly record of selected measurements from three sites on Mammoth Mountain, CA USA. These measurements can be used to run a variety of snow models and complement a previously published dataset. In addition to the hand-weighed snow water equivalent, novel measurements include hourly snow albedo corrected for terrain and other measurement biases.
The mass and energy balance of the snowpack govern its evolution. Here, we present a fully...
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