A thorough assessment of the entire snowpack structure with a suite of snowpack tests and layer observations.

Credit: Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad

A full snow profile is the most thorough and time-consuming point assessment of the snowpack. Professionals collect snow profiles to monitor the evolution of the snowpack throughout the season, helping to make operational and forecasting decisions. Snow profiles often include a suite of snowpack tests and weather observations paired with the stratigraphy of the snowpack, including layer depth, hardness, grain size and shape, density, and water content. 

Full snow pits document the stratigraphy and test layers in the entire snowpack. Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center


Snow profiles are a useful tool for conveying layer characteristics and test results.  The purple bars illustrate layer thickness and hardness.  The columns on the right show grain type, size, and water content.  The red line plots the temperature profile. Credit: Snow Pilot / Bo Torrey