Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): G. L. Wooldridge; R. C. Musselman; R. A. Sommerfeld; D. G. Fox; B. H. Connell
    Date: 1996
    Source: Journal of Applied Ecology. 33: 100-108.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.57 MB)


    1. Deformations of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir trees were surveyed for the purpose of determining climatic wind speeds and directions and snow depths in the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site (GLEES) in the Snowy Range of southeastern Wyoming, USA. Tree deformations were recorded at 50- and 100-m grid intervals over areas of c. 30 ha and 300 ha, respectively, over the GLEES. 2. The climatic mean wind speed was estimated to be 7.4 m s-1; the mean air flow was predominantly westerly. The snow depths ranged from less than 0.2 m to 5.5 m, depending on topographic features and vegetative architecture. 3. Compared with snow depth surveys, precipitation measurements, and a degree-day snow depth model, the average snow depth estimated by the tree deformation method was 70% of the long-term mean. 4. The tree deformation method was useful for detailed estimates of wind speed, wind direction, and snow depth at a fine scale in complex terrain where meteorological instrumentation and snow survey data are minimal.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Wooldridge, G. L.; Musselman, R. C.; Sommerfeld, R. A.; Fox, D. G.; Connell, B. H. 1996. Mean wind patterns and snow depths in an alpine-subalpine ecosystem as measured by damage to coniferous trees. Journal of Applied Ecology. 33: 100-108.


    air flow, complex terrain, Krummholz, surface wind, tree deformation, wind speed

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page