Lasers Help Scientists Get a Detailed Picture of the West's Snowpack

Feb 6, 2014

A new method of measuring snowpack in mountains in the Western United States uses lasers. This image shows the snow water equivalent (top image) and snow albedo, or reflectivity (bottom image) for the Tuolumne River Basin in California's Sierra Nevada in April of 2013.
Credit www.jpl.nasa.gov

Scientists in Colorado are working to improve runoff forecasting in the West so water managers can meet growing needs in the future. A growing population coupled with climate change means every drop will count. Scientists are mapping terrain and snow with lasers to provide a more accurate picture of the snowpack. It's called the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jeff Deems, a research scientist with the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s involved with the project.

TO GO: Jeff Deems, PhD - Laser Mapping of Mountain Snowpacks: NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory, ACES Hallam Lake, Free, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm