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Time dependence of snow microstructure and associated effective thermal conductivity

  • P.K. Satyawali (a1), A.K. Singh (a2), S.K. Dewali (a1), Praveen Kumar (a1) and Vinod Kumar (a1)...
Abstract

This paper presents a sequential evaluation of snow microstructure and its associated thermal conductivity under the influence of a temperature gradient. Temperature gradients from 28 to 45 Km–1 were applied to snow samples having a density range 180–320 kgm–3. The experiments were conducted inside a cold room in a specially designed heat-flux apparatus for a period of 4weeks. A constant heat flux was applied at the base of the heat-flux apparatus to produce a temperature gradient in the snow sample. A steady-state approach was used to estimate the effective thermal conductivity of snow. Horizontal and vertical thick sections were prepared on a weekly basis to obtain snow micrographs. These micrographs were used to obtain snow microstructure using stereological tools. The thermal conductivity was found to increase with increase in grain size, bond size and grain and pore intercept lengths, suggesting a possible correlation of thermal conductivity with snow microstructure. Thermal conductivity increased even though surface area and area fraction of ice were found to decrease. The outcome suggests that changes in snow microstructure have significant control on thermal conductivity even at a constant density.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
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