Temporal isotope changes in wet snow layers in association with mass exchange between snow particles and liquid water in between the particles
Abstract:We carried out snow-pit observations at Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, Japan, where the snow layers were at the melting point. It was observed that the water content in the snowpack was nearly constant at approximately 10%, and the coarsening rate of snow particles was about 0.4 × 10−3 mm3 h−1, which was in the range between the rate for dry snow and that for snow soaked in water. The isotope change of snow particles by melting and freezing in a closed system under isothermal conditions at 0°C was modeled. The temporal change in isotope concentration was calculated for wet snow layers, based on the fractionation between snow particles and liquid water in between the particles, in association with the coarsening of snow particles. The results compared well with field observations. These results suggest that the isotope concentration of the pore water that flows downward from the surface contributed significantly to the isotope change of snow particles.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2005
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