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Properties and structure of the seasonal snow cover in the continental regions of China

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The continental regions of China are extensively covered by snow during winter. In this paper, the seasonal snow cover in the Tien Shan and Altay mountains is observed and analyzed, based on the characteristics of the dry-cold snow cover accumulating under the continental climatic conditions in northwest China. Compared with the humid-warm snow cover, the dry-cold snow cover is characterized mainly by small density, low water content, large temperature gradient, thick depth hoar, etc., and its metamorphism is dominated by the thermal exchange and the pressure of the overlying snow layers. According to the observed data, the solar radiation flux on the snow surface is dominated by a negative balance in the arid areas in China during the snow season; the albedo on the new-fallen-snow surface is up to 96%, and the transmission depth of shortwave radiation in dry-cold snow cover is 28 cm. During the snowmelt season in spring, the thickness of the depth hoar can occupy 80% of the whole snow cover.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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