Signatures of Evaporation of Artificial Snow in Alpine Lower Troposphere (SEASALT) is a students' research project within the Education & Training framework of the EUropean Fleet for Airborne Research (EUFAR).

Conducted research is aimed at:

  • obtaining a proof and scale-estimation of the process of advection of the water vapour introduced into the atmosphere during man-made snow production which may have a significant impact on the Alpine water-budget
  • checking for various local microphysical interaction between the atmosphere and the artificially introduced man-made snow (aerosol concentrations e.g.)
  • contributing to a general air-quality comparison between the highly-urbanised ski-resorts and tourist-free valleys

The project is led by Sylwester Arabas (Institute of Geophysics, University of Warsaw, Poland).

The field measurement campaign, which was carried out in the Enns river valley in Austria in February/March 2008, was funded by EUFAR as a Transnational Access project. The airborne measurements were carried out onboard the FZK-ENDURO ultralight trike operated by Dr. Wolfgang Junkermann (Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany)

Field measurements

The field measurements campaign, focused on the airborne measurements on board the FZK-ENDURO ultralight trike, was carried out in the Enns river valley in Austria in the end of February, beginning of March 2008.

The FZK-ENDURO is equipped with a variety of instruments including:

  • radiation sensors:
    • METEO-CONSULT 4PI-SR Actinic Spectroradiometer
      (hemispherical broadband UV irradiance in the 300 to 700 nm range)
    • LICOR RAD_UP/DN Visible/Near infra-red radiometer
      (2 Pyranometers measuring up- and downward hemispherical broadband solar irradiance)
      (hemispherical broadband UV irrandiance)
  • air composition probes:
      (ozone mixing ratio by means of UV-Absorption measurement with 4 sec. time resolution)
    • Meteolab Dew/Frost-point hygrometer
      (thermo-electric chilled mirror hygrometer )
    • IMK-IFU Hantzsch-Fluorimeter
      (formaldehyde concentration with 90 sec. response time)
    • DDG/La Jolla OP-2 CO2/H2O
      (CO2 and H2O concentration by means of IR absorption measurements)
  • particle counters:
    • TSI 3010 Condensation Particle Counter
      (particle concentration in the size range from 10 nm to 3 um with 1 sec. time resolution)
    • GRIMM 1.108 Optical Particle Counter
      (particle size distribution in the range from 0.3 to 20 um)
    • PMS/DMT FSSP-100
      (cloud droplets size distribution in the range of 5 - 47 um with 1Hz time resolution)
  • light absorption/scattering meters
    • Magee SCI AE-42 Aethalometer
      (absorption coefficient at 7 wavelenghts from 350 to 950 nm, time resolution 2 min.)
    • TSI 3653 Nephelometer
      (backscatter and total scatter coefficients at 3 wavelengths from 450 to 700 nm)
  • aircraft position and flight parameter meters:
    • IMK-IFU 5 hole turbulence probe
      (airspeed, aircraft orientation, instrument mounted on the nose-boom, operating in 20Hz time resolution)
    • Oxford Technologies Inertial Navigation System
      (aircraft orientation with 80Hz time resolution)

field measurements region
photo: K. Bednarek, IGFUW

The team

Sylwester Arabas (University of Warsaw, Poland)
MSc student in the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Physics, Institute of Geophysics. Current research concentrated on analyses of cloud microphysical properties based on data from airborne measurements.
Lisa Haga (University of Helsinki, Finland)
MSc student in the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Sciences. Studies concentrated on meteorology and geophysics.
Wolfgang Junkermann (Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany)
Senior scientist in the Institut fur Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, pilot and maintainer of the FZK-ENDURO. Research concentrated on air chemistry, micrometeorology, aerosol physics and atmospheric shortwave radiation.
Bartosz Kulawik (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
PhD student in the Jagiellonian University in Cracow within the Faculty of Geography Information Science (GIS), Cartography and Remote Sensing. Research work mostly concentrated on glacier fluctuation and application of GIS and Remote Sensing methods and data.
Pierre Paccard (University of Savoy, France)
PhD student in the University of Savoy, Edytem Department. Working on synthesis of effects of artificial snow on the water cycle in the French Alps.

Related materials

Quick-look data

SEASALT documents


Picassaweb gallery with a selection of photos from the field campaign in Austria

Web links

Press/w3 cuttings:

Restricted access materials


  • 2008-07-28 SEASALT dataset v0.3 release (airborne + flux + meteo)
  • 2008-07-21 SEASALT airborne dataset v0.2 release
  • 2008-05-22 SEASALT airborne dataset v0.1 release
  • 2008-04-24 SEASALT seminar in the University of Helsinki (LH)
  • 2008-04-17 EGU 2008 SEASALT poster
  • 2008-04-12 SEASALT meeting in Cracow (BK+PP+SA)
  • 2008-03-20 SEASALT meeting in Helsinki (LH+SA)
  • 2008-02-23 : 2008-03-08 Field measurements in Austria
  • 2008-02-04 SEASALT meeting in Garmisch (WJ+SA)
  • 2008-01-24 SEASALT meeting in Warsaw (BK+SA)
  • 2007-12-12 Lisa, Bartosz and Pierre join the campaign
  • 2007-11-26 We've got a website!
  • 2007-11-20 Final acceptance by EUFAR - funds granted
  • 2007-09-25 Appointment of the FZK-ENDURO by EUFAR - decision pending
  • 2007-06-06 Seminar presenting the proposal in University of Warsaw
  • 2007-05-31 Submission of the project proposal to EUFAR
  • 2007-04-16 EGU 2007 Great Debate: We must curtail the use of artificial snow


Please follow the links below to download SEASALT datasets. Data is provided in netCDF format (easily readable e.g. by the GNU Data Language, IDL or Matlab). Description of variables and units follow NCAR/nimbus conventions (rf - research flight, tf - test flight).

Hyperlinks above lead to v0.3 dataset, for previous release change v0.3 into v0.1 or v0.2 in the url.

The following KML files can be used to view SEASALT flights trajectories in various geo-visualisation tools including the free Google Earth tool (see screenshot below).

The SEASALT Campaign Diary might be a valuable companion for data analysis as it covers a record of meteo conditions as well as some quick-look plots. Flight trajectories together with some basic atmospheric parameters are presented in Flight summery animations. (see Related materials tab)

website maintenance: Sylwester Arabas