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Title: Snow studies in Antarctica
Authors: United States Antarctic Research Program.
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Gow, A. J. (Anthony Jack)
Keywords: Snow
Snow cover
Snow accumulation
Snow distribution
Pit studies
South Pole
Ice crystals
Ice crystal formation
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 177.
Description: Research Report
Abstract: Seasonal distribution of snow at the South Pole and its relationship to stratigraphy was investigated in pits dug beside 4-yr old accumulation stakes. Results show that conventional stratigraphic methods yield thoroughly reliable values of accumulation rates. The bulk of the year's accumulation is deposited as dunes during winter and subsequently transformed into linear sastrugi so that by winter's end the amplitude of the surface relief exceeds the thickness of snow accumulated annually. During the summer these dunes and sastrugi are gradually worn down by sublimation-deflation, which is believed to be the significant factor in the formation of the remarkably uniform stratigraphy observed in pits. An examination of bullet crystals in precipitation indicates that combinations of bullets originate as primary growth structures and that individual bullets are formed as a result of the disintegration of these primary growth forms rather than by independent crystallization of pyramidally terminated columns. Three years' measurements of snow accumulation on undulating surfaces around Byrd Station indicate that the undulations are being filled in. These results are discussed in the light of current knowledge of the origin and migration of such features.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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