Airflow and gas exchange in snow-fact or fiction

TitleAirflow and gas exchange in snow-fact or fiction
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1975
AuthorsVan Haveren, B. P.
Conference Name43rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 43rd Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1975
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationCoronado, California
KeywordsSnow water vapor, Snow water vapor movement

Snow physicists have paid little attention to the topics of airflow phenomena, void air composition, and gas transfer mechanisms in the seasonal snowpack. These processes have both hydrologic and biologic significance. Although recent information has been gathered on the concentrations and transfer characteristics of water vapor in s snow, these studies need to be expanded and intensified. The results from these preliminary studies appear to indicate that water vapor moves within and from the snowpack by diffusion and also by convection, and that concentrations of water vapor in the voids of surface snow layers may be strongly influenced by atmospheric conditions at the snow surface. Biological activity under the spring snowpack increases as snow and soil temperatures increase. Most of this activity is concentrated at or within a few centimeters of the soil-snow-interface. In order for organisms to survive under these conditions, the processes of photosynthesis and respiration must occur, which necessarily involves exchange of CO2 and O2.

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