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  • Station or cluster: CryoNet Station
  • Type: Reference
  • Attribute(s): Cal/val, Research
  • WMO ID (if any):
  • Shape: point
  • Latitude, longitude: 45.2950, 5.7656
  • Altitude and/or range (m): 1325
  • Landscape: Coastal
  • Year established: 1961
  • Year-round? No
  • Operations contact: Yves Lejeune
  • Science contact: Marie Dumont
  • Data contact: Marie Dumont
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Col de Porte
Reference CryoNet Station Information

The Col de Porte pilot site is located near Grenoble, in the Chartreuse massif. At this mountain site, on the flat measurements field, 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 glacier monitoring observatory (GLACIOCLIM) and the local snow/atmosphere observation network CENACLAM.

Other Networks to Which This CryoNet Station Belongs

Measurement Methods Used

Data Information


Morin, S., Lejeune, Y., Lesaffre, B., Panel, J.-M., Poncet, D., David, P., and Sudul, M.: An 18-yr long (1993-2011) snow and meteorological dataset from a mid-altitude mountain site (Col de Porte, France, 1325 m alt.) for driving and evaluating snowpack models, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 4, 13-21, doi:10.5194/essd-4-13-2012, 2012


The measurements made at Col de Porte are listed in the following tables. (Note: If End Year is blank, measurements are ongoing.)

Cryosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
SnowSnow water equivalent1961Continuous
SnowSnowpack profile1961Continuous
SnowSnowfall depth1961Fragmented
SnowWater equivalent of snowfall1961Fragmented
SnowSurface temperature1993
SnowSnow surface area20102011Sporadic
FrozengroundGround temperature1993

Atmosphere Measurements

Element Variable Start Year End Year Frequency
MetAir temperature1961Continuous
MetHumidity/vapour pressure1993Continuous
MetWind speed and direction1993Continuous
MetAir pressure1993Continuous
MetTotal precipitation1961Continuous
RadiationDownwelling shortwave1993Continuous
RadiationUpwelling shortwave1993Continuous
RadiationDownwelling longwave1993Continuous
RadiationUpwelling longwave1993Continuous

Measurement Notes and Other Measurements

Category Description or List
Snowinternal snow temperature using settlement disks (hourly since 1993)
Seasonally frozen groundSoil temperature at -10, -20 and -50 cm hourly since 1993. Soil temperature and soil moisture at -5, -10, -20 and -30 cm hourly since 2012.
HydrologySnow runoff is measured using 2 lysimeters (1 m2 and 5 m2) at hourly time step since 1993.

Last updated: 31 May 2017