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Buoyancy effects induced by drifting snow particles

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Snowdrift is one of the many manifestations of two-phase flows in which the inherently stably stratified drift-density profile acts to destroy turbulence. This can be quantified by using an appropriate "particle" Richardson number, equivalent to thermally stratified flow. This Richardson number is proportional to the mean fall velocity of the particles (averaged over the particle-size spectrum) and the drift density, and therefore depends strongly on height above the surface. It exhibits a maximum close to the surface, where drift densities are largest. It then decreases to minimum values at intermediate heights, above which Richardson numbers increase with height. The particle Richardson number and the associated decrease in turbulent exchange coefficient depend strongly on wind speed, particle-eddy exchange coefficient and mean particle radius. It is found that particle-buoyancy effects in snowdrift are non-negligible for large wind speeds and large particle-eddy exchange coefficients.

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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