Implementation of Climatological Summaries for Snow Fence Design

Principal Investigator(s):

Mark Seeley, Professor, Soil, Water & Climate

Project summary:

Blowing and drifting snow is a common occurrence along many roadways in Minnesota, often posing a hazard to winter season travel. Mitigation practices, such as the deployment of living snow fences, provide an economically beneficial means for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to improve road conditions and driver safety. Site-specific methods for the design and deployment of living snow fences were developed by Dr. Ronald Tabler (1994, 1997). Under contract with MnDOT (#74708) the University of Minnesota developed the climatological database and parameterizations to fully utilize Tabler?s approach in designing living snow fences to mitigate effects of drifting snow. This database allows users to maximize the spatial resolution of climatological information and parameterizations in the design of snow fences. In the guidebook, "Catching the Snow with Living Snow Fences", steps are identified for designing living snow fences. A web site will be designed to utilize the climatological database and parameterizations in conjunction with identified design criteria so that users (engineers, road designers, and maintenance staff) can more accurately deploy living snow fences and thereby increase their effectiveness and maximize their cost-benefit ratios.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2002021
  • Start date: 11/2001
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Snow and ice control