Educational Resources

Shaved Ice Snow-Water Equivalence

A man, wearing snow shoes, pushes a metal tube deep into the snow.  He is conducting a snow survey and helping measure Snow Water Equivalent (SWE).
A man, wearing snow shoes, pushes a metal tube deep into the snow. He is conducting a snow survey and helping measure Snow Water Equivalent (SWE).
Use measurement tools and mathematics to determine the volume of water contained in snow of a certain density.

Grades 6 - 12
Climatology/Meteorology • Hydrology
Demo • Activity • Lesson Plan


Educational Objectives

By the end of this activity, students will be able to:

  • Define SWE, density, volume
  • Use measurement tools to determine density of snow and compare it to the volume of water contained in snow.
  • Understand the need to monitor snowpack

Audience
K-12


Observatory: Sierra CZO

Author(s): Southern Sierra CZO

Contact(s):



Details for this Resource

Snow water equivalent (SWE) is the depth of liquid water in a known volume of snow if it were to be melted. In this activity designed for 6th-12th graders, students will use measurement tools and mathematics to determine the volume of water contained in snow of a certain density. Students will be able to define terms such as SWE, density, and volume, use measurement tools to find the density of snow, and understand the need and importance of monitoring snowpack.