Snow Drift Management: Summit Station Greenland
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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At the request of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory reviewed available snow survey data and conducted a drifting snow transport analysis for Summit Station, Greenland, to assess the nature of the drifting problems at this site. The severity of drifting during the winter was significantly greater than during summer months therefore, snowdrift management strategies should focus on minimizing winter accumulations. The transport analysis showed that the snow is conveyed from two dominant directions, southeast and southwest, which satellite imagery of snowdrifts confirmed. Computing the elevation difference between fall and spring surveys allowed estimates of the accumulated drift volume during a winter at Summit. Comparing these computed volumes to the snow transport analysis showed that about 25 of the estimated snow that the wind transports to Summit each winter is deposited and forms drifts, mostly in close proximity to the structures. This analysis demonstrates that weather data wind speed and direction and a transport analysis can aid in estimating the volume of snowdrifts needing to be managed at Summit.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost