Data Set ID: 

SnowEx17 Community Snow Depth Probe Measurements, Version 1

This data set, part of the SnowEx 2017 campaign, contains in situ snow depth measurements at two locations in Colorado, USA: Grand Mesa, a snow-covered, forested study site about 40 miles east of Grand Junction; and Senator Beck Basin approximately 80 miles to the SSE of Grand Mesa. Measurements were obtained approximately 3 meters apart along multiple transects, using either a standard, handheld 3 meter long probe or a 1.2 meter long MagnaProbe.

This is the most recent version of these data.

Version Summary: 

New data set.

STANDARD Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified

Documentation: Key metadata and user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools

See All Level of Service Details

Data Format(s):
  • Comma-Separated Values (.csv)
Spatial Coverage:
N: 39.1, 
S: 39, 
E: -107.8, 
W: -108.2
Spatial Resolution:
  • 3 m x 3 m
Temporal Coverage:
  • 6 February 2017 to 25 February 2017
Temporal ResolutionVariesMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Ludovic Brucker, Christopher Hiemstra, Hans-Peter Marshall, Kelly Elder

Geographic Coverage

Other Access Options

Other Access Options


As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Brucker, L., C. Hiemstra, H. Marshall, and K. Elder. 2018. SnowEx17 Community Snow Depth Probe Measurements, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: [Date Accessed].
23 May 2018
Last modified: 
2 October 2018

Data Description


Snow Depth

File Information


Data files are provided in Comma-Separated Values (CSV) format. CSV files can be accessed using software that reads ASCII text. 

File Contents

Snow depths were obtained along 128 transects at Grand Mesa (GM) and 104 at Senator Beck Basin (SBB), using either a standard 3-m snow depth probe or a 1.2-m GPS-equipped MagnaProbe which automatically records a GPS position with each snow depth measurement. Standard probe measurement locations were interpolated as follows: (1) transect end points were established and surveyed prior to the snow season; (2) during the field campaign, handheld GPS reference points were acquired along each transect (available in a separate file); (3) transect end points were adjusted based on differential GPS measurements recorded during the summer of 2017.

Three files are available for transects measured with a standard probe and two for those obtained via MagnaProbe. The following table describes each file type:

Table 1. File Types and Contents
File Type Contents
Snow depth transect Site location (GM or SBB) and transect site ID, acquisition date, position (UTM), distance along transect (m), snow depth (cm).

Reference Points
(standard probe only)

Site location (GM or SBB) and transect site ID, acquisition date, reference point positions (UTM), distance along transect (m), spacing between reference points (m), number of snow depth measurements between reference points, snow depth measurement spacing (m).
Comments Site location (GM or SBB) and transect site ID, acquisition date, location (UTM), operator comments.

Naming Convention

Data files utilize the following naming convention:

  • SnowEx17_SD_[location]_transect_[probe]_[yyyymmdd]_[transect site ID]_[file type]_v[nn].csv


  • SnowEx17_SD_GM_transect_20170225_095_SN_comments_v01.csv
  • SnowEx17_SD_GM_transect_20170225_095_SN_reference_points_v01.csv
  • SnowEx17_SD_GM_transect_20170225_095_SN_v01.csv
  • SnowEx17_SD_SBB_transect_MP_20170217_L34_NS_comments_v01.csv
  • SnowEx17_SD_SBB_transect_MP_20170217_L34_NS_v01.csv
Table 2. File Naming Convention Variables
Variable Description
SnowEx17_SD Short name for SnowEx17 Community Snow Depth Probe Measurements
location Grand Mesa (GM) or Senator Beck Basin (SBB) transect
probe MP = MagnaProbe. Absent = standard probe.
yyyymmdd Acquisition date
transect site ID Can vary in length and include underscores.
file type Comments, reference_points, or absent (snow depth)
nn Version number

File Size

Files range in size from approximately 1 KB to 80 KB.

Spatial Information

Grand Mesa

Northernmost Latitude: 39.1º N
Southernmost Latitude: 39.0º N
Easternmost Longitude: 107.8° W
Westernmost Longitude: 108.2° W

Senator Beck Basin

Northernmost Latitude: 38.0º N
Southernmost Latitude: 37.8º N
Easternmost Longitude: 107.65 ° W
Westernmost Longitude: 107.8 ° W


Snow depth measurements are spaced roughly 3 m apart.


The following table provides information for geolocating this data set.

Table 3. Geolocation Details
Geographic coordinate system WGS 84
Projected coordinate system WGS 84 / UTM zone 13N
Longitude of true origin -105 (13N)
Latitude of true origin 0
Scale factor at longitude of true origin 0.9996
Datum WGS 1984
Ellipsoid/spheroid WGS 84
Units meters
False easting 500000
False northing 0
EPSG code 32613 (13N)
PROJ4 string +proj=utm +zone=13 +datum=WGS84 +units=m +no_defs

Temporal Information


Data were obtained between 6 February and 25 February 2017. 

Data Acquisition and Processing


Quality, Errors, and Limitations

Measurements were hand-written in field notebooks and transcribed to Excel files by a transcription company. Excel files were visually inspected and transciption errors were manually corrected. Interpolated positions were visually inspected for completeness and accuracy. Users should exercise caution with respect to measurement locations, especially under canopy.

Version History

Version 1

Related Data Sets

SnowEx Data at NSIDC

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Ludovic Brucker
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

No technical references available for this data set.

How To

Programmatic Data Access Guide
Data from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) can be accessed directly from our HTTPS file system or through our Application Programming Interface (API). Our API offers you the ability to order data using specific temporal and spatial filters... read more