Item: Measurements of the electric field gradient in a blizzard
Title: Measurements of the electric field gradient in a blizzard
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1994 International Snow Science Workshop, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Authors: SCOTT SCHMIDT AND JIM DENT, Department of Civil Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717
Abstract: In the transport of heavy particulates by wind, as in blizzards and sand storms, much of the particulate flux occurs very near the surface by a process called saltation. A buildup of electrostatic charge usually accompanies this phenomenon. To date, the force due to this electrification has not been included in equations predicting particle transport by saltation. Consideration of electrostatic force on particle saltation trajectories requires knowledge of the electric field strength very near the snow surface. Such measurements have been lacking. This paper reports measurements of the electric field gradient in a blowing snow storm. Given this newly measured electric field gradient and previously measured charge-to-mass ratios for saltating snow particles, the modified equations of motion predict substantial changes in saltation lengths in agreement with experimental observations.
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Keywords: cornices, triggering, blizzards, saltation
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