Item: Wet snow pendular regime: the amount of water in ring-shaped configurations
Title: Wet snow pendular regime: the amount of water in ring-shaped configurations
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1998 International Snow Science Workshop, Sunriver, Oregon
Authors: A. Denoth, University of Innsbruck, A-6020, Austria
Abstract: The water saturation of a natural snow cover varies, in general, from zero to approximately 20% of the pore volume, whereby two essentially different types of water geometry - pendular mode and funicular mode - can be observed. The pendular mode covers the low-saturation range (typically S :s; 7% for old coarse grainded Alpine snow) and it is assumed that the water component is arranged in isolated menisci or pendular rings around a contact zone between spheroidal ice grains. However, the water rings or menisci are, then no dynamically, in a very critical - may be in an unstable - configuration. As water rings or menisci represent closed electrically conducting loops, they may be responsible for an induced diamagnetic behaviour of snow, especially in the microwave regime; and this offers a way to measure the amount of water stored in this geometrical configuration. From a carefull analysis of the measured dielectric and magnetic penneability in the microwave C to K-bands of moderate wet coarse grained Alpine snow results, that water rings seem only to exist at saturations lower than ~8%. For saturations exceeding this critical value, water rings begin to merge forming clusters, whereby the number of ring-like geometries decreases in favour of larger but open-ended structures.
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Keywords: snow physics, snow electromagnetic properties, snow water content
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