Snowpack snow water equivalent measurement using the attenuation of cosmic gamma radiation

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Incoming, background cosmic radiation constantly fluxes through the earth`s atmosphere. The high energy gamma portion of this radiation penetrates many terrestrial objects, including the winter snowpack. The attenuation of this radiation is exponentially related to the mass of the medium through which it penetrates. For the past three winters, a device measuring cosmic gamma radiation--and its attenuation through snow--has been installed at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, near Donner Pass, California. This gamma sensor, measuring energy levels between 5 and 15 MeV, has proved to be an accurate, reliable, non-invasive, non-mechanical instrument with which to measure the total snow water ... continued below

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8 p.

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Osterhuber, R.; Fehrke, F. & Condreva, K. May 1, 1998.

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  • Osterhuber, R. Univ. of California, Soda Springs, CA (United States). Central Sierra Snow Lab.
  • Fehrke, F. California Dept. of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA (United States)
  • Condreva, K. Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (United States)

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Livermore, California

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Description

Incoming, background cosmic radiation constantly fluxes through the earth`s atmosphere. The high energy gamma portion of this radiation penetrates many terrestrial objects, including the winter snowpack. The attenuation of this radiation is exponentially related to the mass of the medium through which it penetrates. For the past three winters, a device measuring cosmic gamma radiation--and its attenuation through snow--has been installed at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, near Donner Pass, California. This gamma sensor, measuring energy levels between 5 and 15 MeV, has proved to be an accurate, reliable, non-invasive, non-mechanical instrument with which to measure the total snow water equivalent of a snowpack. This paper analyzes three winters` worth of data and discusses the physics and practical application of the sensor for the collection of snow water equivalent data from a remote location.

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8 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98052860

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  • Western snow conference, Snowbird, UT (United States), Apr 1998

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  • Other: DE98052860
  • Report No.: SAND--98-8534C
  • Report No.: CONF-980494--
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 677181
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc707306

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • May 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2016, 8:29 p.m.

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Osterhuber, R.; Fehrke, F. & Condreva, K. Snowpack snow water equivalent measurement using the attenuation of cosmic gamma radiation, article, May 1, 1998; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc707306/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.