snow

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firn line

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 limit.
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firn water table

the height of meltwater within saturated firn that is trapped over ice in a glacier.
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firnspiegel

a thin sheet of ice formed on the glacier surface by rapid refreezing of solar-heated snow or firn, usually at high elevations during spring.
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flow finger

a small percolation channel that is a beginning path for surface meltwater through snow or firn.
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graupel

snowflakes that become rounded pellets due to riming; typical sizes are 2 to 5 millimeters in diameter (0.1 to 0.2 inch); graupel is sometimes mistaken for hail.
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ice worm

an oligochaete worm that lives on temperate glaciers or perennial snow; there are several species that range in color from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown or black; they are usually less than 1 millimeter (0.04 inch) in diameter and average about 3 millimeters (0.1 inch) long; some eat red algae.
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kinetic-growth metamorphism

snow metamorphism that builds angular facets on crystals and makes cup and scroll shaped crystals.
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metamorphism

changes in the structure and texture of snow grains which result from variations in temperature, migration of liquid water and water vapor, and pressure within the snow cover.
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névé

(1) young, granular snow that has been partially melted, refrozen and compacted; névé that survives a full season is called firn; firn becomes glacial ice; (2) also refers to the accumulation zone of a glacier.
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new snow

a recent snow deposit in which the original form of the ice crystals can be recognized.
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