Snow properties (including grain size, density, depth and isotopic composition), measured in the frame of the citizen science programme "Vecinos de las Nieves" in the semiarid Andes in Chile from 2018 to 2021.


Precipitation that falls as snow at high elevations is one of the principal water sources for the downstream areas in the dry Andes of Central Chile. The last decade was especially dry, with most years showing below-normal annual precipitation - the so-called central Chile megadrought. Together with increased water consumption, the dry conditions have led to considerable water stress. People living in high mountain areas are especially vulnerable to this water scarcity, which raises their awareness and interest in meteorological observations.This dataset contains measurements of fresh snow and rain obtained in the citizen science project Vecinos de las Nieves (Spanish for “snow neighbors”) - a collaboration between scientists and community members who live, work or study in the mountainous sector (above 1100 m asl.) in the Andes mountains of the Coquimbo region, Chile (29°S to 32°S). Since 2018, following each snowfall during the austral Winter (May to August), the volunteers have measured the physical-chemical characteristics of the snow on the ground. Since 2021, the volunteers have also collected rainfall with a manual rain gauge. In total, 21 precipitation events have been documented, with a maximum snow depth of 292 mm at the highest observation site (3110 m asl.). In addition, 25 fresh snow samples from 9 snowfall events have been collected and successfully processed, to derivate stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes, whose values are in line with the global meteoric line.The program Vecinos de las Nieves has generated new scientific understanding of snow and rain processes during the four winter periods, as well as connected isolated communities in the pursuit of science, and has highlighted the importance of local knowledge and interdisciplinary research in understanding snow dynamics and water availability in this area. Most participants have observed drier conditions in their environment during the last years, with fewer snow events compared to previous years, showing growing concern about the water availability in the future.

Further details are given in attached reference "Metadata_SnowNeighbors.pdf": It presents the metadata and describes the citizen science project, the measurement and sampling method and the dataset features of snow and rain observations.---Projects:Vecinos de las Nieves (Snow Neighbors), Web: ",de%20la%20regi%C3%B3n%20de%20Coquimbo", Award: "Fortalecimiento de la generación y transferencia del conocimiento científico interdisciplinario del CEAZA, a partir de la vinculación con los territorios y ecosistemas de la región de Coquimbo", financed by Anid-Regional between 2017 and 2020.Red de Escuelas Vecinas de las Nieves, Web: "", Award: "Programa Explora", financed by the Chilean Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

Related Identifier IsDocumentedBy
Related Identifier IsDocumentedBy
Related Identifier IsDocumentedBy
Metadata Access
Creator Aliste, Valentina ORCID logo; Nuñez, Paloma; MacDonell, Shelley ORCID logo; Schauwecker, Simone; Schaffer, Nicole; Guzmán, Camilo; Cuevas, Franco; Alcayaga, José; Briceño, Germán; Rubio, Germán; Leiva, Manuel ORCID logo; Canihuante, Daniela; Canihuante, Carmen; Canihuante, Luis; Muñiz, Ana; Silva, Juan Carlos; Díaz, Miguel; Cortés, Carmen; Pizarro, Aladino; Oporto, Gloria; Carmona, Magdalena; Torres, Jacinto; Gómez, Maritza; Rojas, Carlos; Araya, Cristina
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2022
Funding Reference Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Crossref Funder ID R16A10003 CONICYT-Programa Regional
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1302 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-70.940W, -31.224S, -70.041E, -29.977N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2018-06-11T07:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2021-10-08T12:00:00Z