Blowing snow in the alpine

March 1, 2012 – 5:29 pm

Here are some fun videos of blowing snow on Niwot Ridge from a couple of days ago. Winds can top 120 mph up there.

Blowing snow is an important physical process that shapes ecosystem function in the alpine tundra. Here’s a figure from a good overview of alpine ecosystems:


The mesotopographic model developed by Billings (1973). Alpine plant communities are formed by the spatial gradients created by snow cover, which is generated by wind exposure and topographic position.

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