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Isotopic fractionation during grain coarsening of wet snow

  • Masayoshi Nakawo (a1), Shigeru Chiba (a2), Hiroshi Satake (a3) and Shigeru Kinouchi (a3)

Abstract

Isotopic composition of solid and liquid portions of wet snow was investigated experimentally. The compositions changed with time, δ values of ice becoming heavier than those for water. A simple model was proposed to explain their temporal variation. It predicted, however, a more rapid change of δ values than the trend obtained in the experiments. This suggests the presence of a “diffusion layer” adjacent to growing snow particles, where isotope concentration has dropped at the ice-water interface because of the fractionation during grain coarsening. The slope in δD–δ18O diagram estimated by the model is compatible with the experimental data. It is considered, therefore, that the freezing fraction, the part of the liquid which refreezes to relatively large particles during grain coarsening, could be estimated by measuring the isotope concentration.

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Copyright

References

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