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Harvard Forest Research Project 2022

  • Title: Snow Pillow
  • Principal investigator: Emery Boose (
  • Institution: Harvard Forest
  • Primary contact: Emery Boose (
  • Team members: Mark VanScoy
  • Abstract:

    Water storage in snowpack is a key factor in the hydrological cycle of central New England. The Harvard Forest snow pillow, installed in December 2009, provides continuous long-term measurements of the water content of snowpack during the winter months. The snow pillow is located in a mature mixed hardwood stand with scattered conifers about 50 m north of the Nelson Brook Big Weir. Trees were removed to create a small opening (15 m) in the canopy to reduce snow interception by branches. The snow pillow (rubber, 3 m diameter) is enclosed in a rubber liner and hardware cloth, filled with 150 gallons of propylene glycol and water, and connected to a pressure transducer. The snow pillow was added to the HF field wireless network in fall 2014. Data are collected every 15 minutes and posted (with a graph of snow water equivalent) on the HF website. Long-term data are stored in the HF Data Archive as dataset HF155.