Effect of snow cover on soil frost penetration

  • Jaroslav ROŽNOVSKÝ Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Brno 616 67, Czech Republic
  • Jáchym BRZEZINA Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, Brno 616 67, Czech Republic
Keywords: snow cover, soil frost penetration, soil temperature


Snow cover occurrence affects wintering and lives of organisms because it has a significant effect on soil frost penetration. An analysis of the dependence of soil frost penetration and snow depth between November and March was performed using data from 12 automated climatological stations located in Southern Moravia, with a minimum period of measurement of 5 years since 2001, which belong to the Czech Hydrometeorological institute. The soil temperatures at 5cm depth fluctuate much less in the presence of snow cover. In contrast, the effect of snow cover on the air temperature at 2 m height is only very small. During clear sky conditions and no snow cover, soil can warm up substantially and the soil temperature range can be even higher than the range of air temperature at 2 m height. The actual height of snow is also important – increased snow depth means lower soil temperature range. However, even just 1cm snow depth substantially lowers the soil temperature range and it can therefore be clearly seen that snow acts as an insulator and has a major effect on soil frost penetration and soil temperature range.

How to Cite
ROŽNOVSKÝ, J., & BRZEZINA, J. (2017). Effect of snow cover on soil frost penetration. Contributions to Geophysics and Geodesy, 47(4), 287-297. https://doi.org/10.1515/congeo-2017-0016
original research papers