Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies

Swamp Angel Study Site
Swamp Angel Study Plot (subalpine)

Senator Beck Study Site
Senator Beck Study Plot (alpine)

Putney Study Site
Putney Study Plot (summit)

Senator Beck Basin Stream Gauge
Basin Stream Gauge

St Paul Basestation
St. Paul RF Base Station

The Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies serves the mountain science community and regional resource managers by hosting & conducting interdisciplinary research and conducting integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant community and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.

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CSAS-Assisted Scholarly Publications

Scientific Publications   |   Presentations   |   Student Theses   |   More


Chen, Y., C. M. Naud, I. Rangwala, C. C. Landry, and J. R. Miller, Comparison of the sensitivity of surface downward longwave radiation to changes in water vapor at two high elevation sites, Environ. Res. Lett. 9 (2014) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/11/114015

Landry, C. C., K. A. Buck, M. S. Raleigh, and M. P. Clark (2014), Mountain system monitoring at Senator Beck Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado: A new integrative data source to develop and evaluate models of snow and hydrologic processes, Water Resour. Res., 50, 1773–1788, doi:10.1002/2013WR013711.

Bryant, A. B., T. H. Painter, J. S. Deems, and S. M. Bender (2013), Impact of dust radiative forcing in snow on accuracy of operational runoff prediction in the Upper Colorado River BasinGeophys. Res. Lett.40, doi: 10.1002/grl.50773, 2013.

J. Brahney, A.P. Ballantyne, C. Sievers, J.C. Neff. Increasing Ca2+ deposition in the western US: the role of mineral aerosols.  Aeolian Research (2013),http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2013.04.003

Raleigh, M. S., C. C. Landry, M. Hayashi, W. L. Quinton, and J. D. Lundquist (2013), Approximating snow surface temperature from standard temperature and humidity data: New possibilities for snow model and remote sensing evaluation, Water Resour. Res., 49, 8053–8069, doi:10.1002/2013WR013958.

Deems, J. S., T.H. Painter, J.J. Barsugli, J. Belnap, and B. Udall (2013), Combined impacts of current and future dust deposition and regional warming on Colorado River Basin snow dynamics and hydrology, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 4401-4413, doi:10.5194/hess-17-4401-2013.

Naud, C. M., Y. Chen, I. Rangwala, and J. R. Miller (2013), Sensitivity of downward longwave surface radiation to moisture and cloud changes in a high-elevation region, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118,10,072–10,081, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50644.

Painter, T. H., A. C. Bryant, and S. M. Skiles (2012), Radiative forcing by light absorbing impurities in snow from MODIS surface reflectance dataGeophys. Res. Lett.39, L17502, doi:10.1029/2012GL052457.

Painter, T. H., S. M. Skiles, J. S. Deems, A. C. Bryant, and C. Landry (2012), Dust radiative forcing in snow of the Upper Colorado River Basin: Part I. A 6 year record of energy balance, radiation, and dust concentrations, Water Resour. Res., doi:10.1029/2012WR011985.

Skiles, S. M., T. H. Painter, J. S. Deems, A. C. Bryant, and C. Landry (2012), Dust radiative forcing in snow of the Upper Colorado River Basin: Part II. Interannual variability in radiative forcing and snowmelt rates, Water Resour. Res., doi:10.1029/2012WR011986.

Naud, C. M., J. R. Miller, and C. Landry (2012), Using satellites to investigate the sensitivity of longwave downward radiation to water vapor at high elevationsJ. Geophys. Res.117, D05101, doi:10.1029/2011JD016917. 

Marshall, H.P., C. Pielmeier, S. Havens, and F. Techel (2010), Slope-scale Snowpack Stability Derived from Multiple Snowmicropen Measurements and High-resolution Terrestrial FMCW Radar Surveys. Proceedings of the 2010 International Snow Science Workshop, Squaw Valley, California.

Simonson, S.E., E. Greene, S. Fasnacht, T. Stohlgren and C. Landry (2010) Practical Methods for Using Vegetation Patterns to Estimate Avalanche Frequency Magnitude. Proceedings of the 2010 International Snow Science Workshop, Squaw Valley, California.

Painter, T. H., J. Deems, J. Belnap, A. Hamlet, C. C. Landry, and B. Udall (2010), Response of Colorado River runoff to dust radiative forcing in snow, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published ahead of print September 20, 2010,doi:10.1073/pnas.0913139107.

Lawrence, C. R., T. H. Painter, C. C. Landry, and J. C. Neff (2010), Contemporary geochemical composition and flux of aeolian dust to the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, United States, Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, G03007, doi:10.1029/2009JG001077.

Steltzer, H., C. Landry, T. H. Painter, J. Anderson, and E. Ayres. 2009.Biological consequences of earlier snowmelt from desert dust deposition in alpine landscapes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106:  11629-11634, doi_10.1073_pnas.0900758106.

Neff, J.C., A.P. Ballantyne, G.L. Farmer, N.M. Mahowald, J.L. Conroy, C.C. Landry, J.T. Overpeck, T.H. Painter, C.R. Lawrence and R.L. Reynolds. 2008.  Increasing eolian dust deposition in the western United States linked to human activity, Nature Geoscience, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 189-195, March 2008, doi: 10.1038/ngeo136

Painter, T. H.,  A. P. Barrett, C. C. Landry, J. C. Neff, M. P. Cassidy, C. R. Lawrence, K. P. Thatcher, L. Farmer. (2007) Impact of disturbed desert soils on duration of mountain snow cover. Geophysical Research Letters. V34, 12, L12502, 10.1029/2007GL030208.


Selected Presentations and Outreach:

  • December 2014: AGU Fall Meeting:
    • Mark S. Raleigh, JD Lundquist, and MP Clark (2014), Which forcing data errors matter most when modeling seasonal snowpacks?, Abstract C43E-0444 presented at the 2014 Fall Meeting AGU, San Francisco, CA 15-19 Dec.

    • Michael Follum, C Downer, and J Niemann (2014), Simulating the spatial distribution of snow pack and snow melt runoff with different snow melt algorithms in a physics based watershed model. Abstract H42B-03 presented at the 2014 Fall Meeting AGU, San Francisco, CA 15-19 Dec.

  • Sept 29, 2014: Chris Landry presented a poster and paper on “Desert Dust and Snow Stability” at the International Snow Science Workshop in Banff, Alberta.

  • July 17, 2014: Mark Raleigh presented, on behalf of CSAS, a talk titled “High elevation headwaters hydrology and snow monitoring at Senator Beck Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA: a 7 year dataset" at the international Global Fair and Workshop on Mountain Observatories, Reno, NV.

  • December 2013: AGU Fall Meeting
    • Mark S. Raleigh, CC Landry, M Hayashi, WL Quinton, and JD Lundquist (2013), Approximating snow surface temperature from standard temperature and humidity data: New possibilities for snow model and remote sensing evaluation, Abstract C43E-08 presented at the 2013 Fall Meeting AGU, San Francisco, CA 9-13 Dec.

  • December 2012: AGU Fall Meeting

Student Theses:

  • McKenzie Skiles, Dust and Black Carbon Radiative Forcing Controls on Snowmelt in the Colorado River Basin, Department of Geography, University of California-Los Angeles, (PhD 2014). 

  • Annie Bryant Burgess, Hydrologic implications of Dust on Snow in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Department of Geography, University of Utah, (PhD 2013). 

  • Corey P. Lawrence, Aeolian deposition in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, USA: The biogeochemical role of dust in soil development and weathering. Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder (PhD, May 2009).

  • Julie A. Crawford, Multi-scale investigations of alpine species of the northern hemisphere. University of Pavia, Italy. (PhD, 2010).

  • McKenzie Skiles, Interannual Variability in Radiative Forcing by Desert Dust in Snowcover in the Colorado River Basin, Department of Geography, University of Utah, (MS, May 2010).

  • Sarah Castle, M.S. (GEOL), Nutrient cycling in geologically distinct alpine basins in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  University of Colorado - Boulder,  Geosciences Department. (MS, May 2008).

  • Kathleen McBride, A synoptic climatology of desert dust deposition to the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A., Department of Geography, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff (MA, December, 2007).

  • Shane Stradling, An investigation of how dust deposition affects snowpack and snow albedo, Swamp Angel Site, San Juan County, CO, Department of Geosciences, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado (BS, May 2007).

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