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Further Results on Studies of Temperature-Gradient Metamorphism

  • E. E. Adams (a1) and R.L. Brown (a1)

Abstract

A correlation between temperature gradient in snow–pack and material strength is found to exist in laboratory studies on temperature gradient metamorphism of snow. These results are in agreement with earlier field investigations and eliminate diurnal solar and temperature variations as reasons for the existence of the maximum temperature gradient in the zone of minimum strength. Also the laboratory studies have indicated that locally dense layers such as ice crusts tend to enhance weakness directly below the crust due to local alteration of the thermal regimen. Further studies are continuing to describe the thermodynamic process of temperature gradient metamorphism more exactly.

Résumé

Au cours d'études en laboratoire sur la métamorphose de gradient thermique de la neige on a trouvé une corrélation entre le gradient thermique de la neige et la résistance mécanique du matériau. Ces résultats sont cohérents avec des investigations de terrain antérieures et éliminent le rayonnement solaire diurne et les variations de températures comme causes de l'existence d'un gradient thermique maximum dans les zones de moindre résistance mécanique. Les études de laboratoire ont également montré que des niveaux localement denses comme les croûtes de glace tendent à engendrer une zone fragile directement sous la croûte en raison de l'altération locale des régimes thermiques. De nouvelles études sont poursuivies pour décrire plus exactement les processus thermodynamiques de la métamorphose de gradient.

Zusammenfassung

Aus Laboruntersuchungen über den Metamorphismus von Schnee unter einem Temperaturgradienten geht hervor, dass eine Korrelation zwischen dem Temperaturgradienten in der Schneedecke und der Festigkeit des Materials besteht. Diese Ergehnisse stimmen mit früheren Felduntersuchungen überein; sie schliessen tägliche Schwankungen der Sonneneinstrahlung und der Temperatur als Ursache des Auftretens des maximalen Temperaturgradienten in der Zone geringster Festigkeit aus. Die Laborversuche haben weiter gezeigt, dass lokal dichte schichten, wie z.B. Eiskrusten, infolge lokaler Änderungen der Wärmehaushalts zu einer Erhöhung der Nachgiebigkeit direkt unter der Kruste führen. Weitere Studien werden unternommen, um den thermodynamischen Vorgang des Metamorphismus unter einem Temperaturgradienten noch genauer beschreiben zu können.

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References

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Armstrong, R. L. 1980. An analysis of compressive strain in adjacent temperature–gradient and equi–temperature layers in a natural snow cover. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 26, No. 94, p. 283–89.
Bradley, C. C. and others. 1977[a]. Gradient metomorphism, zonal weakening of the snow–pack, and avalanche initiation, by Bradley, C. C Brown, R. L., and Williams, T. R. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 19, No. 81, p. 335–42.
Bradley, C. C. and others. 1977[b]. On depth hoar and the strength of snow, by Bradley, C. C. Brown, R. L., and Williams, T. [R.]. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 18, No. 78, p. 145–47.

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