Red Snow in Upstate New York

April 24, 2011

Snow With Reddish Cast~Medina NY~020311sm (2) 
Photographer: Carl Crumley 
Summary Author: Carl Crumley; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a patch of reddish snow was taken this past winter near Medina, New York. The coloration is caused by the presence of an algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, which in addition to chlorophyll is composed of a carotenoid pigment. Sometimes referred to as "watermelon snow," it often proliferates in melting snowpacks. Meltwater hastens its distribution. Note that sometimes a red coloration  iscaused by Haematococcus rather than Chlamydomonas.  Photo taken on February 3, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D; Focal Length: 84.0mm; Aperture: f/18.0; Exposure Time: 0.040 s (1/25); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: +1.67 EV; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); Exposure Mode: Auto Bracketing; White Balance: Manual; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.