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1 February, 2002

The snow has definitely arrived in Council! Last visit when I was here the snow had not yet arrived. It layed mainly as huge crystals accumulating only a couple of centimeters. But now, the snow lays much deeper at 50 - 100 centimeters. We traveled up to the top of Blueberry Hill where the view is spectacular of the snow covered tundra and hills. It lies white with snow but admidst it is dotted with brown shrubs and trees. The sun barely broke today because the sky was covered with clouds. The clouds dumped light snow upon us for the remainder of the day. I ran the magna-probe today. The magna probe records the depth of the snow and stores the depth and number of readings into a computer panel. First a tape measurer of 100 meters is laid out. Then I walk the 100 meter line and stop every half meter and push a button that records the reading. Therefore, on a 100 meter line there are 201 measurements. You can see why all the readings are recorded in a computer instead of by pencil and paper! It's important to record snow depth so a relationship between the depth and the shrub layer can be determined. The snow shrub interaction is our main focus point. It is believed that the snow layer is actually trapped and held in more by the shrubs. Since snow is very insulative - it will warm the ground - hence causing more shrubs to grow.

Other measurements were also taken at Blueberry Hill. Jon dug a snow-pit and took albedo measurements while Glen did

snow water equivalents. We will have more explanations on these measurements later!

Matthew has been studying these sites at Council for quite sometime. The different sites give a nice, broad perspective of the different vegetative types. There is open tundra, moderate shrubs, heavy shrubs, and a forest site. Each site requires many snow measurements to be taken!

Running the magna probe in style!!!

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