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Tomography-based Observation of Sublimation and Snow Metamorphism Under Temperature Gradient and Advective Flow : Volume 9, Issue 5 (11/09/2015)

By Ebner, P. P.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004023618
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 20
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Tomography-based Observation of Sublimation and Snow Metamorphism Under Temperature Gradient and Advective Flow : Volume 9, Issue 5 (11/09/2015)  
Author: Ebner, P. P.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Schneebeli, M., Steinfeld, A., & Ebner, P. P. (2015). Tomography-based Observation of Sublimation and Snow Metamorphism Under Temperature Gradient and Advective Flow : Volume 9, Issue 5 (11/09/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland. Snow at or close to the surface commonly undergoes temperature gradient metamorphism under advective flow, which alters its microstructure and physical properties. Time-lapse X-ray micro-tomography is applied to investigate the structural dynamics of temperature gradient snow metamorphism exposed to an advective airflow in controlled laboratory conditions. The sublimation of water vapor for saturated air flowing across the snow sample was experimentally determined via variations of the porous ice structure. The results showed that the exothermic gas-to-solid phase change is favorable vis-a-vis the endothermic solid-to-gas phase change, thus leading to more ice deposition than ice sublimation. Sublimation has a marked effect on the structural change of the ice matrix but diffusion of water vapor in the direction of the temperature gradient counteracted the mass transport of advection. Therefore, the total net ice change was negligible leading to a constant porosity profile. However, the strong reposition process of water molecules on the ice grains is relevant for atmospheric chemistry.

Tomography-based observation of sublimation and snow metamorphism under temperature gradient and advective flow

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