Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (803 KB)

Title: Ionic tracer movement through a Wyoming snowpack

Author: Bales, Roger C.; Sommerfeld, Richard A.; Kebler, David G.;

Date: 1990

Source: Atmospheric Environment. 24A(11): 2749-2758.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: A meltwater ionic pulse with initial concentrations of 5-10 or more times the average was observed in lysimeters set at the base of a 2-m snowpack in an unpolluted, alpine watershed. Both background chemical species and added tracers exhibited the initial pulse. About 10 days after the onset of meltwater release, solute concentrations collected in the lysimeters dropped to near the average snowpack level. Silica was elevated more than major ions in some initial lysimeter samples, which is evidence of a soilwater or overland-flow contribution. Lysimeter flow rates were equivalent to about 2 cm of melted snow per day, approximately equal to the daily melt estimated from a temperature-index model. Less than 10 per cent of the ionic-tracer mass applied to snow directly above the lysimeters was present in the meltwater. Snow pits dug in an area adjacent to the lysimeters showed that ice lenses played a significant role in solute movement through the pack, influencing both solute depletion and horizontal vs vertical flow. Snow pits also showed depletion of at least 25-35 per cent of the solute mass during release of the first 10 per cent of meltwater.

Keywords: ionic tracer, snowpack, meltwater, lysimeter, silica

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Bales, Roger C.; Sommerfeld, Richard A.; Kebler, David G. 1990. Ionic tracer movement through a Wyoming snowpack. Atmospheric Environment. 24A(11): 2749-2758.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.