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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/245

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Popular Science Monthly

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��•Tbe Eadel secw sam|i)a:

��Above is the Kadel snow sampler which is an auger and measuring stick combined. The diameter of the tube is such that one pound of snow represents one inch of water

��At left: The Marvin sampler. One end of the tube has a toothed cutting edge so that it can be forced through icy incrustations in the snow beds. It is graduated in inches

��Scientists on Snowshoes The snow surveyors travel rapidly over the watershed, often on skiis or snowshoes, carrying with them a "snow sampler" and a small spring balance. The sampler is a metal tube, of small bore, which is forced down to the bottom of the snow in order to secure a sample. The Marvin sampler, used by the Weather Bureau, is two and three-fourths inches in diameter and comes in various lengths. One end is armed with a serrated cutting edge, so that it can be forced through icy incrustations, or ice itself in the snow beds. The tube is gradu- ated in inches. When the tube is with- drawn the section of snow remains in it, and the whole is weighed by means of the balance. Several hundreds of measure- ments are made on different parts of the watershed. An alternative plan, suitable for shallow beds of snow, is to shovel the snow into a bucket and weigh the latter with its contents. These methods depend upon the fact that a given weight of snow represents a definite amount of water, whereas the relation between depth of snow and water content is widely variable.

��Mr. B. C. Kadel, of the Weather Bureau, has recently devised a snow sampler having a bore of nearly six inches, which is much larger than in the Mar\in instrument; it is provided with an auger, which, when screwed to the base of the tube, constitutes a bottom for retaining the snow. The diameter of the tube is such that one pound of snow represents one inch of water. This ingenious instrument unfortunately labors under the disadvantage of being too heavy to be readily portable over the mountains and in districts where the trans- portation facilities are likely to be cut off entirely during the very time when the snow sampler is needed. There are places in the mountains where more than five hundred inches of snow falls during an average season, and where the exceptional depth is nearly eight hundred inches or more than sixty-five feet. This is in the Sierra Nevada, of California, in the region adjacent to the line of the Southern Pacific Railway connecting Sacramento, Cal., with Reno, Nev, The railway company is kept busy shoveling the accumulations off its thirty- two miles of snow-sheds.

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