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Development of saltation layer of drifting snow

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The saltation length of aeolian snow particles and a new parameter, the ejection factor, which expresses the degree of erosion due to drifting snow, were obtained as functions of friction velocity by means of wind-tunnel experiments for semi-hard snow cover. The saturated-snowdrift transport rate was also obtained experimentally as a function of friction velocity. Based on these characteristics and the parameter, the development of the saltation layer of drifting snow along the fetch was simulated under various conditions such as snow hardness, wind speed and snowfall intensity. The main results are as follows. The developing distance denoting the distance required for the saltation layer to attain saturation, Xsat, is determined by saltation length, ejection factor and saturatedsnowdrift transport rate, all of which depend on wind speed. It is also affected by the magnitude of snowdrift transport rate at the starting point and by the intensity of snowfall if it exists. The dependence of Xsat on wind speed is not simple in the case of semi-hard snow cover: Xsat increases with wind speed under weak to moderate wind conditions and then decreases under moderate to strong wind conditions. It is sensitive to snow hardness: it is about one order longer on hard snow cover than on semi-hard snow cover. Snowfall reduces not only the value of Xsat but also its dependence on snow hardness.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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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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