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Note: This data set was first published on the 1998 CAPS CD.
The text for this document was taken unchanged from that CD.

See also Description of Data Files.

Seasonal Frost Penetration, Sleepers River Research Watershed, Vermont, USA

Data are presented on the CAPS Version 1.0 CD-ROM as spreadsheets in MS-EXCEL (text only) and cover winter seasons 1983-84 to 1992-93.

Principal Investigator:

Mr. Timothy Pangburn
U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
72 Lyme Road
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755-1290
Phone: (603) 646-4296
Fax: (603) 645 -4750

Data Compiler:

Mr. William Roberts
U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
72 Lyme Road
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755-1290
Phone: (603) 646-4236
Fax: (603) 645 -4750
E-mail: wp

Study Location

Sleepers River Research Watershed, Danville, Vermont.

Geographic Extent:

Northwest Latitude: 44 31' 47" N
Northwest Longitude: 72 10' 37" W
Southeast Latitude: 44 25' 20"N
Southeast Longitude: 72 02' 22" W


The frost tube network is located within a 3.25 square mile sub-watershed of the Sleepers River Research Watershed. Tubes were positioned in forested and nonforested cover types. The forest cover includes beech, birch, maple hardwoods with a 7% slope and 240 degree aspect, mixed conifer (spruce and balsam) and hardwoods with a 3% slope and 240 degree aspect, and coniferous forest with a 3% slope and 240 degree aspect. The open areas include two large non-cultivated agricultural fields (with approximate 5% slopes and aspects of 240 and 15 degrees) and a small heavily instrumented opening. Site data were generally recorded weekly. Snow depth was measured with a metal meter ruler while frost reading were measured from a plastic tube filled with methylene blue dye suspended in a PVC outer tube.

Site Description

The North Danville W-3 test site is located neat the eastern edge of a 6-ha clearing (see Anderson for a detailed site description). The forest is generally about 200 from the center of the selected site area. The surrounding first 75 m of terrain is generally free of vegetation tall enough to protrude above the midwinter snow cover. Beyond 75 m there are scattered small conifers. The central portion of the site was graded prior to the installation of instruments. The site is very flat, with a slight slope to the south, and meets site criteria given in the WMO report. This results in a very uniform snow cover over the site area. However, during windy periods the snow tends to blow off this area. The prevailing winds in winter are from a westerly direction.


Bates, R.E., Pangburn, T. and Greenan, H., 1987. WMO solid precipitation measurement intercomparison at Sleepers River Research Watershed. In: Eastern snow Conference, 44th, 3-4 June 1987, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, Proceedings, p.1-7.

Roberts,W. 1991. Data Report for the period October 1990 to September 1991. U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, unpublished. [other unpublished reports by W. Roberts cover October - September of 1985-86 through 1989-90]


Water equivalence

Please cite these data from the CAPS Version 1.0 CD-ROM as follows:

Pangburn, T. and W. Roberts. 1998. Seasonal frost penetration, Sleepers River Research Watershed, Vermont, USA. In: International Permafrost Association, Data and Information Working Group, comp. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS), version 1.0. CD-ROM available from National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado: NSIDC, University of Colorado at Boulder.