Measuring snowmelt in the Fuglebekken catchment

The SNOWME project (RiS-ID  11668) is a collaboration between IG PAS (Poland), IPE CSIC (Spain), CESBIO (France), NPI (Norway), US (Poland) and FMI (Finland). The SNOWME field campaign was conducted between the 25th of April and the 4th of May 2021 in the Fuglebekken catchment in Hornsund. For 10 days we were hosted by the Polish Polar Station Hornsund, conveniently located next to the catchment. The aim of the project was to obtain high spatial resolution information on snow parameters in the Fuglebekken catchment at the peak of the snow accumulation and use it for seasonal snowmelt modelling. We were extremely lucky with the weather as for most of the time we had reasonably low air temperature, low wind and clear sky. The latter two were crucial for the success of the fieldwork as we used short-range remote sensing methods (UAV Structure from Motion photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS)) for the acquisition of Digital Surface Models of the snow cover. UAV and TLS measurements were accompanied by the successful acquisition of Pleiades ultra-high-resolution stereoscopic satellite images of the catchment. To get the in-situ data for Cal/Val and modelling activities, our field days had to be fully packed with:

  • snow depth probing
  • digging snowpits for snowpack structure stratigraphy
  • measurements of Snow Water Equivalent
  • sampling and filtering for the snow impurities content
  • measurements of basal ice thickness
  • measurements of snow surface broadband albedo
  • measuring the position of Ground Control Points
  • installation  of  sensors  for  temperature  and  humidity  measurements,  that  collected data over the whole melting period

We aim to finish processing the collected remote sensed data (UAV, TLS and Pleiades) and in-situ measurements by the end of Spring 2022. Combining these measurements with snowmelt modelling will provide a detailed account of processes occurring in the High Arctic catchment during the snowmelt period.

The SNOWME team would like to thank SIOS for funding the project and logistical support.  Additional thanks go to the staff of the Polish Polar Station Hornsund for hospitality and dr Daniel Kępski for help in the field.

Below is a video of the principal investigator, Bartek Luks, describing the fieldwork on the SNOWME project.