Theory of Metamorphism of Wet Snow.
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER N H
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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
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost