United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
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National Water and Climate Center

Snow Survey Sampling Guide

Care of Sampling Equipment

Taking good care of your sampling equipment can make the difference between a good survey and a poor one.

  1. Handle the equipment carefully to prevent damage. A four-section sampling set costs more than $500.
  2. Do not cling to sampling tubes while sampling on steep slopes.
  3. Keep the sampling tubes clean and covered inside and out with a thin coating of spray silicone or wax. A coating keeps the snow from adhering to the tube and prevents corrosion.
  4. Ice and rock feel and sound similar when struck by the sampling tube. Before you exert pressure, be sure you are striking ice.
  5. Keep the cutter sharp and the orifice true to its original diameter. If the cutter is broken or badly worn, ask for a replacement.