Living Snow Fence Case Study: Mountain Lake, MN
  Wind Direction
  Fetch Distance
  Snow Water Equiv.
  Snow Transport
  Attack Angle

A problem area along Highway 30 in Cottonwood County 10 miles west of Darfur is managed by a 2000-ft linear planting of honeysuckle. This living snow fence is set back 300-ft from the north side of the highway to capture blowing snow before it becomes a problem for travelers.

Steps used to design a living snow fence given the climatological and topographic characteristics at this site:

  1. Identify the snowfall over the snow accumulation season (SAS).
  2. Determine the prevailing winter wind direction by looking at: prevailing wind direction for October - March and the direction of predominant snow transport.
  3. Determine fetch distance for this site.
  4. Identify the snow water equivalent (SWE).
  5. Calculate the mean seasonal snow transport, based on snowfall over the snow accumulation season (SAS).
  6. Calculate storage capacity, based on fence porosity and height.
  7. Determine the angle of the prevailing wind with the road.
  8. Run model to get proper setback distance for fence.


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