Field trials for the SnoMotes occurred in Juneau, Alaska. Based on the relevance of weather data, the similarity of the terrain to arctic conditions, and logistics, several test sites were selected for field studies across two glaciers. Lemon Creek Glacier has been the subject of annual mass balance measurements since 1953 as part of the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP), making weather measurements in this area particularly relevant. Mendenhall Glacier is one of Alaska’s most popular tourist attractions. The current public interest of this particular site makes additional information valuable. Both sites are only accessible via helicopter. Several test sites were selected across the glaciers in order to test the system in a variety of glacial terrains. One area was completely covered with over a meter of soft snow and largely flat for several kilometers in any direction. Another was located at the lower edge of the northern branch of Mendenhall, near a bend in the glacier. Again, the site is completely snow covered, but is much closer to the mountains. Due to the proximity of the Mendenhall Tower peaks and the bend in the path, the terrain exhibited large-scale undulations. Yet another was located in the upper plateau of the terminus. Here the underlying ice is exposed and the terrain is characterized by small, rolling hills 1-2 meters in height. Some crevasses are present in this area, and melt water pools in some of the small valleys.

Field Trials

Lead Engineers: Stephen Williams & Ayanna Howard

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