Item: An investigation of sun crust formation using field data and laboratory experiments
Title: An investigation of sun crust formation using field data and laboratory experiments
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: Toshihiro Ozeki and Eizi Akitaya
Abstract: Sun crust formation mechanism is investigated through field observations as well as laboratory experiments. From the field observations, the structure of the sun crust is observed. The sun crust is a thin ice layer made of ice particles. With the sun crust formation, the local temperature beneath it rose and internal melting occurred. As a result, the cavities under the sun crust were formed. The energy balance calculation of the sun crust revealed that the shortwave radiation absorbed is balanced with the total of net longwave radiative flux, latent heat flux, and sensible heat flux. At the further down the snow· pack, the shortwave radiation penetrated through the surface layer was absorbed and the internal melting occurred. The field observations are verified by the laboratory experiment using various snow types. As a result, sun crust was formed from both compact snow and granular snow, however, when the snow surface became rough due to the quick melting, the sun crust was not formed even under the suitable energy balance condition for the sun crust formation.
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Keywords: sun crust, hoar growth, stability, snow pack
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