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A mathematical model of snow-cover influence on soil freezing, taking into account the phase transition layer, water migration in soil, frost heave and ice-layer formation, has been developed. The modeled results are in good agreement with data observed in natural conditions. The influence of a possible delay between the time of negative temperature establishment in the air and the beginning of snow accumulation, and possible variations of the thermophysical properties of snow cover in the wide range previously reported were investigated by numerical experiments. It was found that the delay could change the frozen-soil depth up to 2–3 times, while different thermophysical characteristics of snow changed the resulting freezing depth 4–5 times.
Non-uniformity of a temperature field in a 30 cm deep artificial snow cover in a wind tunnel was produced by keeping a selected cross-section, perpendicular to the wind direction, at a temperature different to that in the cold room. Quasi-steady-state temperature distributions in the snow around this cross-section were observed with and without wind, and were significantly different. The difference was attributed to the influence of an air flux inside the snow cover. The mechanism of this influence is discussed. Several temperature conditions and wind speeds over the snow surface were studied. It was concluded that the wind produced the air flux in the pore space of snow, and the air-flux velocity increases with wind speed. The calculated values of the horizontal air-flux velocity in the pore space of snow were of the order of l0–2 m s"1 and decreased with depth.
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