Swiss scientists are probing centuries-old glaciers in the hope of discovering new environmental and climatic data. A measurement site was selected and equipped at the 4,300 m high Seserjoch in the heart of the Monte Rosa massif. A complete energy balance station with a 6 m high mast measures air temperature, humidity, and wind speed at three levels. Short-wave radiation, net radiation, surface temperature, and snow depth are also measured. Two thermistor chains were lowered into the glacier to measure the firn and ice temperatures. A 4 m chain with 15 sensors at 0.25 m intervals measures the near-surface short-term temperature variation, while a 30 m chain with 30 sensors at 1 m intervals records the deep long-term temperature variation. A 50 W solar panel supplies the energy for all the instruments and recharges the two batteries with a total capacity of 76 Ahr. Data retrieval occurs via an RF network.

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Case Study Summary

Application

Monitoring energy balance, meteorological conditions, and glacial conditions atop Seserjoch

Location

Swiss Alps - Switzerland

Measured Parameters

Air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, short-wave radiation, net radiation, surface temperature, snow depth, firn and ice temperature (30 and 4 m thermistor chains suspended in glacier)