United States Department of Agriculture
Each winter gives examples of the insulating properties of snow cover. Seeds and soil fauna are protected from the cold by snow. Underground water pipes are less likely to freeze under snow cover. And, according to many observers, the occurrence, penetration, and thaw of soil frost are affected by snow cover. The depth of snow necessary to protect soil from freezing...
A water-filled plastic tube buried vertically in the soil in a copper casing permitted repeated observation of frost depth without damaging the sampling site. The device is simple and inexpensive and provides data on soil freezing at least as accurate as direct observation by digging through frozen soil.
Aspect affects soil frost depth by influencing the amount of solar radiation received at the ground or snow surface. Depending on the conditions, frost can be of equal depth on north and south slopes, deeper on north slopes, or deeper on south slopes. Data illustrate all three conditions