Acoustic sounding of snow water equivalent
Kinar, Nicholas John Stanislaus
An acoustic frequency-swept wave was investigated as a means for determining Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) in cold wind-swept prairie and sub-alpine environments. Building on previous research conducted by investigators who have examined the propagation of sound in snow, digital signal processing was used to determine acoustic pressure wave reflection coefficients at the interfaces between 'layers' indicative of changes in acoustic impedance. Using an iterative approach involving boundary conditions at the interfaces, the depth-integrated SWE was determined using the Berryman equation from porous media physics. Apparatuses used to send and receive sound waves were designed and deployed during the winter season at field sites situated near the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. Data collected by gravimetric sampling was used as comparison for the SWE values determined by acoustic sounding. The results are encouraging and suggest that this procedure is similar in accuracy to SWE data collected using gravimetric sampling. Further research is required to determine the applicability of this technique for snow situated at other geographic locations.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorPomeroy, John W.
CommitteeWestbrook, Cherie; Guo, Xulin
porous media physics