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Modelling of the densification of polar firn: characterization of the snow–firn transition

  • L. Arnaud (a1), V. Lipenkov (a2), J. M Barnola (a1), M. Gay (a1) and P. Duval (a1)...

Abstract

The transformation of dry snow to firn is described by the transition between densification by deformationless restacking and densification by power-law creep. The observed decrease with temperature of the density at the snow-firn transition seems to result from the competition between grain-boundary sliding and power-law creep. These two densification processess occur concurrently in snow, although there are probably micro-regions in which sliding alone occurs. Validation of a geometrical densification model developed for ceramics has been obtained from densification data from several Antarctic and Greenland sites and from the characterization of the structure of polar firn.

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References

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