Title Rapid change of tundra snow hardness in Alaska
Author Sugiura, K.; Yang, D.; Ohata, T.
Author Affil Sugiura, K., Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Research Institute for Global Change, Yokosuka, Japan. Other: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Source Annals of Glaciology, 52(58), p.97- 101, . Publisher: International Glaciological Society, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0260-3055
Publication Date 2011
Notes In English. 14 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 310205
Index Terms density (mass/volume); freezing; grain size; hardness; melting; physical properties; snow; snowmelt; temperature; tundra; water vapor; United States--Alaska--Barrow; Alaska; Barrow Alaska; density; snowdrift; snowpack; United States
Abstract To understand the formation of hard snow in the field and its relationship to the physical parameters of snow surfaces, we carried out snowpack observations at a flat and snow-covered field in Barrow, Alaska. These observations were performed in the middle of winter and included two drifting snow events. After the end of each drifting snow event, the minimum snow surface density increased slightly with time and there was a rapid increase in the minimum snow surface hardness. There was no rain during our observations. Therefore, the strong bonds among the snow surface particles were not due to melting and refreezing; they formed because of hardening during water-vapor transport under a temperature gradient and also by exposure of the inner snow layer through erosion. As a consequence, the snow formed a hard surface following the drifting snow events.
URL http://www.igsoc.org/annals/v52/58/a58A036.pdf
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65007358