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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The variation of ground snow loads with elevation in southern British Columbia Claus, Bernhard Ralph


Measurements conducted at 20 locations in Southern British Columbia were used to investigate the relationship between maximum water equivalent (ground snow load) and elevation. It was found that the relative increase of water equivalent with elevation (ie. the slope of the water equivalent plotted against elevation) could be defined very well for larger regions with similar climatic conditions. For a given mountain, ground snow loads could therefore be predicted by extrapolating from water equivalent values at one elevation to another elevation. Plots of the absolute values of water equivalents against elevation for regions of similar climatic conditions could give only approximate values of ground snow loads- for any particular site. Plots of the mean water equivalent and of the 30 year maximum water equivalent plotted against elevation for the measurement locations and for the regions of similar snow conditions are presented. The density of snow at the time of maximum water equivalent was briefly investigated. No correlation of density with elevation was found.

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