Snow depth in Polistovsky Reserve reached half a meter for the first time in 5 years
The height of the snow cover in Polistovsky Reserve reached 50 cm for the first time since the winter of 2012-2013. Such data was received by the employees of the Reserve after the snow survey - a part of environmental monitoring.
The snow survey is a part of hydrological monitoring aimed at tracking all processes occurring with the water of the raised bog system of Polistovsky Reserve. In winter, hydrological monitoring includes measuring the depth of bog freezing and monitoring of the snow cover - measuring its height, and calculating density and water amount in the snow.
Specialists carry out field measurements to monitor the snow cover 3 times a month. There are 3 routes and 2 sites located in the most typical microlandscapes of Polistovsky Reserve, where they measure snow cover height (at 50 points) and snow density (at 5-10 points depending on the site).
The height of the snow is measured with a portable rod: it is vertically inserted into the snow till surface of the soil or moss. There is a special device used to determine the density of snow - weighting snowgage, which is a hollow cylinder with a measuring scale and weights. The cylinder is filled with snow by immersing it vertically to the snow till the bottom, and then the snow is weighed. Density of the snow sample is calculated according to its weight, dividing the snow mass by its volume in the cylinder.
Finally we get data on the average snow height and average density of the snow cover in various microlandscapes: forest, meadow, typical raised bog communities. Also, the average water amount is calculated for each site. According to the latest data, the maximum snow height (50 cm) and maximum water amount contained in snow is detected on the meadow route.
Last time, the height of the snow cover in Polistovsky Reserve exceeded half a meter in 2012-2013, and the maximum value of 77 cm was reached in the winter of 2010-2011 at the bog site representing the sedge-sphagnum and cotton grass-shrub-sphagnum communities.
A sufficiently high level of snow this year may affect the level of meltwater in the spring. However, strong floods can be expected only in case of fast and strong warming without frosts. If snow melting is gradual, the water level in rivers will not rise so much.