Snow scientists in Grenoble


Snow scientists in the field

Other pictures are available in the gallery for registered participants.





Snow grain size is an essential property required for many applications: cold regions hydrology, polar and mountain climatology, optical and microwave remote sensing, snow chemistry, etc. However, field and laboratory measurements of snow grain size are notoriously difficult and impaired by the coexistence of inconsistent definitions. Several instruments and methods based on very different physical principles (optical, gas adsorption, tomography, stereology) have been developed in the last decade, with differences in terms of reproducibility, acquisition time and vertical and horizontal resolution in the field. In recent years, grain size measurements have been conducted by different groups in a wide variety of environments. However, little is known about the accuracy of these methods due to the lack of an approved reference method and the insufficient number of inter-comparison exercises.

The main objective of the meeting is to gather snow grain size specialists to:

1 – present established and new methods of measurements.

2 – discuss about the accuracy, comparability and quality of existing measurement methods,

3 – identify areas where action at the international level is needed to improve the situation.

Emphasis is deliberately placed on field or laboratory methods together with their theoretical relation to a particular definition of snow grain size. Development and applications related to grain size in the field of remote sensing, snowpack modeling and data assimilation are also welcome and open for discussion.

The 4-day workshop will include keynote lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations, discussions and one-day field trip near Grenoble. The objective of this field day is to demonstrate the instruments brought by the participants to the others and to potentially initiate an inter-comparison.

This workshop is the first meeting associated to the working group “From quantitative stratigraphy to microstructure-based modeling of snow” which is endorsed by the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (

Preliminary Program

The meeting will run from 2 April 2013 at 10h to 5 April 2013 at 13h.

The preliminary program is now out (15 February 2013)


Important dates

- Abstract Submission for oral presentation or posters: Open until Jan 31, 2013
- Registration: until Mar 3, 2013

Sending your intention to participate as early as possible will help the organizers.

Location & practical details

The meeting will be held at Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l'Environnement ( on the campus of the Université Joseph Fourier, 10 minutes by tramway from Grenoble city center.

There is no fee for the participation to the meeting. Lunches will be provided in the conference room.
Travel, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and other expenses are to be organized and covered by the participants.

If you intend to bring an instrument (which is strongly encouraged), please contact the organizers for shipping arrangement.


 1st route:

The nearest airport: Lyon St Exupery (LYS)

 Shuttles run every hour or more frequently from the St Exupery Airport to Grenoble bus station. More information at

 2nd route:

Arrive in France to Paris - Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Several rapid trains are direct between the Charles de Gaulle airport and Grenoble (about 3 hours). Time table are available here

 The bus and train stations are located close to each other in the city center. They are on the tramway line B going directly to LGGE.


Any hotel along the tramway line B is convenient. Recommendations and booking facilities can be found on (other standard hotel booking websites apply as well to Grenoble).

 Going to LGGE:

To reach LGGE from Grenoble city center, the easiest way is the tramway line B direction “Gières – Plaine de Sport” stop “Les taillers”. It takes about 15 minutes. More information at

 Field day:

The field day should take place at La Grave, about 1h30 by bus from Grenoble, on the glacier “La Girose”. The altitude is high 3200 m and the meteorological conditions can be harsh even in April. It is very important to be well-equipped with mountain clothes, shoes, and highest grade (4) sunglasses.



as of December 14 2012, financial support has been obtained from :




Ghislain Picard (LGGE, Grenoble)
Samuel Morin (CNRM-GAME/CEN, Grenoble)
Henning Loewe (SLF, Davos)
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