Berkeley Lab

Flux Tower Deployment and Peak SWE Snow Sampling

Flux tower installation at Pumphouse floodplain site

Flux tower being installed at the Pumphouse floodplain site.

Tied to the DOE-funded project led by Drs. Reed Maxwell and Dave Gochis (“Diagnosing dominant controls on carbon exchanges in high altitude, western U.S. headwaters”), the long-awaited flux tower was installed at the Pumphouse floodplain intensive study site on April 13, 2017.

Flux tower installation:

Synoptic view of installation and site conditions and infrastructure:–QWs

Tony Brown (~6ft tall) standing in the 3-meter snow pit at the Upper Subalpine site.

Sampling during peak SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) conditions

On April 2-3, 2017, SFA team members dug snow pits to collect vertically-resolved measurements of snow density and samples for geochemical analysis.  Snow depths were ~50% greater than in 2016 at the same time of year.
A video highlighting conditions at the Upper Subalpine site and the headwaters of Rock Creek at the time of sampling can be found here:

Other site updates

For those who have followed the time-lapse evolution of conditions on Meander A, a video presenting conditions and infrastructure tied to the DOE-funded work of Mike Wilkins (Ohio State) investigating stream bed hyporheic exchange can be found here: