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Seasonality of snow accumulation at Mount Wrangell, Alaska, USA

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We recorded the burial times of temperature sensors mounted on a specially constructed tower to determine snow accumulation during individual storms in the summit caldera of Mount Wrangell, Alaska, USA, (62°N, 144°W; 4100 m a.s.l.) during the accumulation year June 2005 to June 2006. The experiment showed most of the accumulation occurred in episodic large storms, and half of the total accumulation was delivered in late summer. The timing of individual events correlated well with storms recorded upwind, at Cordova, the closest Pacific coastal weather station (200 km south-southeast), although the magnitude of events showed only poor correlation. Hence, snow accumulation at Mount Wrangell appears to be a reflection of synoptic-scale regional weather systems. The accumulation at Mount Wrangell's summit (>2.5 m w.e.) exceeded the precipitation at Cordova. Although the direct relationship between accumulation of individual storms at the summit of Mount Wrangell and precipitation events at Cordova may be unique in the region, it is useful for interpreting ice cores obtained on Mount Wrangell. This is especially the case here because the high rate of accumulation allows high time resolution within the core.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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