snow

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crust

a hard snow surface lying upon a softer layer; crust may be formed by sun, rain or wind, and is described as breakable crust or unbreakable crust, depending upon whether it wil break under the weight of a turning skier.
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dendrite

hexagonal ice crystals with complex and often fernlike branches.
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depth hoar

a kind of hoarfrost; ice crystals that develop by sublimation within a layer of dry snow; characterized by rapid recrystallization, usually caused by large temperature gradients; similar in physical origin to crevasse hoar; crystals are faceted, rather than rounded.
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destructive metamorphism

snow metamorphism that rounds the comers and edges of an ice crystal.
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drizzle

very small, uniformly distributed water drops that appear to float while following air currents; unlike fog droplets, drizzle falls to the ground.

equi-temperature metamorphism

snow metamorphism that occurs under relatively consistent temperature conditions.
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equilibrium line

boundary between the accumulation area and ablation area where the mass balance is zero.
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equilibrium metamorphism

snow metamorphism that occurs when there are large differences in convex and concave portions of a crystal.
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firn

rounded, well-bonded snow that is older than one year; firn has a density greater than 550 kilograms per cubic-meter (35 pounds per cubic-foot); called névé during the first year.
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firn limit

the minimum elevation of firn lying on a glacier surface; each year's firn line marks a glacier's annual equilibrium line; also called firn line.
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