Evaluating the impact of snow fencing on snow conditions and ground temperatures in Hurricane Alley, Dempster Highway, Yukon, Canada

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Humphries, Jennifer Kayley




Snow fences were installed at two sites near the Dempster Highway, Yukon, ~ 10 km south of the territorial border, to examine their impact on snow accumulation and ground temperatures. Temperature sensors were installed in August 2018 and snow surveys were conducted throughout winter 2018‒19. Natural snow accumulation ranged from a shallow snowpack of low density in wind-scoured upland, to high density, deep snow in the lee of a large hill. The snow fences accumulated wind-blown snow in large drifts of high density, which neared capacity by December. Topographic factors were not found to significantly alter drift characteristics at the fences. By late winter, thermal resistance was no greater in snow fence drifts than in natural tundra, however mean winter (Dec.-Feb.) ground temperature was higher beneath snow fence drifts than tundra by 3.5°C at 10 cm depth and 2.7°C at 50 cm depth.


Physical Geography




Carleton University


Content author of Table 2.2: 
Christopher R. Burn
Content author of Fig. 2.2: 
(1) Pomeroy and (2) Male (. (1) John and (2) D.
Content author of Fig. 2.3: 
T. R. Oke
Content authors of Fig. 2.4: 
(1) Paul and (2) Roland (1) Fohn and (2) Meister

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Theses and Dissertations

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