University of Vermont

The Vermont Frozen Landscape Monitoring Project

Snow Water Equivalent Monitoring with Wireless Sensor Networks

Project Goals

Monitoring snow water equivalent (SWE) -- that is, the amount of water in a snowpack -- is essential for natural resource planning and control, avalanche prediction, and understanding environmental transformations such as global warming. However, technology for automated remote monitoring of SWE is relatively primitive, hard to deploy, expensive, and environmentally impactful. The goal of this project is to introduce significantly cheaper and easier deployed and maintained technologies for remote monitoring of SWE, based on wireless sensor networks and cutting-edge sensor technologies.

Report on October 2011 Deployment


  • M. Walker, C. Moeser, C. Skalka and J. Frolik, Application of a wireless sensor network for distributed snow water equivalence estimation, proceedings of the 2011 Western Snow Conference, Stateline, NV, April 18-21.
  • A. del Peral and B. Wemple, Using distributed snow data to evaluate and improve the performance of the distributed soil hydrology vegetation model (DHSVM): a test case from the northeastern U.S. American, Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Supplement, H33H-1417, 2011.
  • C. Skalka, J. Frolik; M. Walker and C. Moeser, Development of a distributed in situ instrument for snowpack monitoring, 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco CA, Dec. 14-18.
  • J. Frolik and C. Skalka, 'Scaling down' remote sensing technologies for in situ monitoring of snowpacks, 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco CA, Dec. 14-18.
  • J. Frolik, in situ monitoring of snowpacks (and other harsh environments) using wireless sensor networks, invited presentation, Jones Seminar on Science Technology and Society, Dartmouth, Oct. 23, 2009.
  • J. Frolik, C. Skalka and B. Wemple, An investigation of new snow water equivalence sensing modalities, American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 15-19 2008.
  • C. Skalka, J. Frolik, B. Wemple and T. Neuman, A distributed in situ measurement systems for snowwater equivalence, International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW), Whistler CAN, Sept. 21-27, 2008.