Accession Number : AD0772692

Title :   Theory of Metamorphism of Wet Snow.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER N H

Personal Author(s) : Colbeck,Samuel C.

Report Date : DEC 1973

Pagination or Media Count : 19

Abstract : Grain growth, bond growth and densification of wet snow are described in terms of the distribution of equilibrium temperature in the snow matrix. At high water saturations the equilibrium temperature increases with grain size; hence, small particles melt away as large particles grow. Melting also occurs at the integrain bonds, causing a low strength and rapid densification. At low saturations the equilibrium temperature is determined by the capillary pressure and the particle sizes have only a second order effect. Therefore, grain growth proceeds slowly and, even at large over-burden pressures, no intergrain melting occurs. At low saturations the water 'tension' acts through a finite area, thus large attractive forces exist between the grains, and the strength of the snow matrix is large. (Author)

Descriptors :   *Snow, Density, Grain size, Saturation, Water, Avalanches, Melting point, Thermodynamics, Snow vehicles

Subject Categories : Snow, Ice and Permafrost

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE