Col de Porte snow and meteorology field site

  General introduction

The Col de Porte pilot site is located near Grenoble, in the Chartreuse massif (elevation : 1325m, latitude : 45°30’N, longitude : 5°77’ E). At this mountain site, on the flat measurements field (pictures), meteorological and snow parameters are recorded hourly since 1961.
These parameters are :
-  Air temperature and humidity
-  Short- and long-wave radiations
-  Wind speed and precipitation
-  Snow depth, snow water equivalent
-  Settlements and snow temperatures of the different layers of the snowpack
Weekly snowpack profiles are also carried out, including major stratigraphic properties of snow (temperature, density, liquid water content, snow type).

The Col de Porte site has been widely used to build and evaluate snowpack models such as Crocus, using its unique high-resolution snow and meteorological measurements. In addition, such measurements are useful to monitor the effects of climate change on the Alpine snow cover.

The site is also extremely useful for testing dedicated instrumentation, and carrying out innovative research in the field or in the cold room attached to the laboratory.

The experimental site col de Porte is linked to related observation networks such as the national monitoring observatory GLACIOCLIM and the SOERE CRYOBS-CLIM (Systèmes d’Observation et d’Expérimentation, sur le long terme, pour la Recherche en Environnement de la CRYosphère, un Observatoire du CLIMat) of OSUG (Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de Grenoble).

 Pictures of the measurement field of the laboratory

View to the North View to the South

  History of the field site

The site is operated since 1959.

More historical info (in French)

Overview of scientific studies carried out from field measurements or data gathered at Col de Porte.

  Snow and meteo data

Daily snow and met data are available graphically. For more information, please contact

Hourly quality controlled snow and met data are available for research purpose. In the past, they have been used for hydrologycal or snow model development and evaluation.

Winter (2014 - 2015)

Winter climatology 1960 -

Met and snow data used for snowpack model development

Data from automatic snow-wheather station Nivôse

  Snow particles and grains pictures

These pages allow you to view sample images of snow crystals and grains at different stages of their metamorphisms. The photos were taken in the cold laboratory of the Col de Porte

Show the photos

If you want to get photos at full resolution, please ask: