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CALIBRATING THERMOMETERS: (Must be done prior to taking any measurements)To calibrate the thermometers - prepare a slush bath (consisting of crushed ice and water) in a beaker and insert the thermometers for roughly 5 minutes to equilibrate. They should read '0' degrees centigrade - if it does not read '0' then note the 'zero' point and assume linear behavior.

DETERMINE SNOW THICKNESS: Once the snowpit has been prepared the snow thickness must be determined. Using a folding metric rule, a metric meter stick or a metric measurement tape - anchor one end to the zero point at ground level and extend the measurement device to the top of the snow level. The measurement tool should be secured to the smooth snow wall to ensure a semi-permanent scale which will be used to identify the levels at which every other measurement will be taken.

MEASURE SNOW TEMPERATURE: Immediately after digging and preparing the smooth surface in the snowpit, temperature measurements should be taken to minimize any errors due to the exposure of the smooth pit wall to air and sun.

TAKING MEASUREMENTS: To measure the temperature at each point the thermometer should be carefully inserted - completely - into the snow. Be gentle with the thermometers because they are fragile and can break easily. Allow approximately 5 minutes for the thermometer to equilibrate - then record the temperature and withdraw the thermometer .

Temperatures should be taken:
a. below the litter (leaf debris) on the soil surface.
b. above the litter just under the snow.
c. every 10 cm up to the surface
d. air (shade) temperature.

SNOW THERMAL PROFILE: The temperature measurements provide a thermal profile which is necessary to provide an understanding of the metamorphic changes taking place in the snowpack.