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Article

Density of Seasonal Snow in the Mountainous Environment of Five Slovak Ski Centers

1
Department of Natural Environment, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, Ul. T.G. Masaryka 24, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
2
Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 841 04 Bratislava, Slovakia
3
Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Technical University in Zvolen, Ul. T.G. Masaryka 24, 960 53 Zvolen, Slovakia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3563; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123563
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 13 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 18 December 2020
Climate change affects snowpack properties indirectly through the greater need for artificial snow production for ski centers. The seasonal snowpacks at five ski centers in Central Slovakia were examined over the course of three winter seasons to identify and compare the seasonal development and inter-seasonal and spatial variability of depth average snow density of ski piste snow and uncompacted natural snow. The spatial variability in the ski piste snow density was analyzed in relation to the snow depth and snow lances at the Košútka ski center using GIS. A special snow tube for high-density snowpack sampling was developed (named the MM snow tube) and tested against the commonly used VS-43 snow tube. Measurements showed that the MM snow tube was constructed appropriately and had comparable precision. Significant differences in mean snow density were identified for the studied snow types. The similar rates of increase for the densities of the ski piste snow and uncompacted natural snow suggested that the key density differences stem from the artificial (machine-made) versus natural snow versus processes after and not densification due to snow grooming machines and skiers, which was relevant only for ski piste snow. The ski piste snow density increased on slope with decreasing snow depth (18 kg/m³ per each 10 cm), while snow depth decreased 2 cm per each meter from the center of snow lances. Mean three seasons maximal measured density of ski piste snow was 917 ± 58 kg/m³ the density of ice. This study increases the understanding of the snowpack development processes in a manipulated mountainous environment through examinations of temporal and spatial variability in snow densities and an investigation into the development of natural and ski piste snow densities over the winter season. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow density; snow tube; technology; artificial snow; ski slope; piste; VS-43; snow depth; snow lances; water balance snow density; snow tube; technology; artificial snow; ski slope; piste; VS-43; snow depth; snow lances; water balance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mikloš, M.; Skvarenina, J.; Jančo, M.; Skvareninova, J. Density of Seasonal Snow in the Mountainous Environment of Five Slovak Ski Centers. Water 2020, 12, 3563. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123563

AMA Style

Mikloš M, Skvarenina J, Jančo M, Skvareninova J. Density of Seasonal Snow in the Mountainous Environment of Five Slovak Ski Centers. Water. 2020; 12(12):3563. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123563

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mikloš, Michal, Jaroslav Skvarenina, Martin Jančo, and Jana Skvareninova. 2020. "Density of Seasonal Snow in the Mountainous Environment of Five Slovak Ski Centers" Water 12, no. 12: 3563. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123563

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