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Title: Physical investigations on the snow and firn of northwest Greenland 1952, 1953, and 1954
Authors: Benson, Carl S.
Keywords: Snow
Snow cover
Glacier ice
Publisher: U.S. Army Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Research Establishment.
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (U.S. Army Snow
Description: Research Report
Summary: The results of temperature, density, ram-hardness and grain-size measurements at 118 test sites along a 300-mi. traverse, ranging in elevation from 2000 to 8000 ft, are reported in detail, and their meteorological and climatic implications are discussed. Four types of diagenetically produced facies were recognized: ablation facies, extending from the snout of the glacier to the firn line; soaked facies, extending from the firn line to the saturation line; percolation facies, extending from the saturation line to the dry-snow line; and dry-snow facies, extending across the glacier above the dry-snow line. The well defined saturation line shows marked discontinuities in temperature, density, and ram hardness, while the dry-snow line is a transition 1 zone 10-20 mi. wide. The recognition of facies allows greater resolution of glacier characteristics than Ahlmann's classification, permitting quantitative subdivision of all types of large glaciers. Regional precipitation (entirely from cyclonic storms) is about 5 times greater than at Thule; and the prevailing katabatic winds control the vertical component of the temperature gradient in the snow and firn. The depth density curve of the firn at elevations where melt is negligible is invariant with time, as in Sorge's law, so that the densification can be treated as a steady-state situation with load as the only significant variable. NOTE: This file is large. Allow your browser several minutes to download the file.
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