Analysis and Modeling of Melt-Water Refreezing in Dry Snow

W. Tad Pfeffer, Tissa H. Illangasekare, Mark F. Meier
1990 Journal of Glaciology  
A dynamic zone of thermal disequilibrium is described which separates wet snow at 0 ° C from dry, sub-freezing snow. The dynamic zone tends to be eliminated by thermal equilibrium through freezing, but is sustained and propagated into the sub-freezing snow by water flow from the wet snow. The width of the dynamic zone is controlled by the rate of water inflow, and by the rate of freezing of water on to sub-freezing ice grains, which is in turn controlled by the ice/water geometry. Two ice/water
more » ... geometries are investigated: isolated ice spheres and capillary tubes of ice into which water is pulled by capillary suction. The rate of freezing of water is calculated for the two models for various initial dimensions and temperatures. Equilibrium times are short (typically about 0.5 s), but depend on the assumed geometry, which is poorly constrained by existing data. Equilibration times and freeze-on mass fluxes are calculated for a variety of general conditions. These results can be used in numerical models of wetting-front propagation into cold snow.
doi:10.3189/s0022143000009497 fatcat:qpt4fgbu4bbjxoo5o5rxjukepa