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The student understands that snow leads to avalanches, but is often very inexperienced in the observation of the snow pack. This exercise provides the opportunity to learn about snow stratigraphy, observation, and measurement from a detailed observational perspective. The students work in small groups in 3-6 pits (depends on the class size). By working on a transect from the trees out into the opening, they discover (usually) that the snow depth is different and that the descriptions in the pits differ as one proceeds out from the trees into the opening. (Different stratigraphic units, different thickness, different temperature, different density, different crystals.)
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