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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica


Physical Properties

Investigation of snow and firn physical properties, by Dartmouth College.

Science ObjectivesSnow layering

  • Determine relationships between snow & firn properties and accumulation rate as the physical basis for large-scale mapping accumulation rate, and controlling actors for air-snow transfer.
  • Determine convective zone depths for various accumulation rates, and impact of convection on chemical and isotopic composition.

The image shows a slice of snow from a snow pit (backlit)
showing layering of snow and firn


  • Measure snow & firn stratigraphy, permeability, thermal conductivity, density, and microstructure.
  • Compare physical characteristics with high frequency radar measurements and with chemical and isotopic measurements.
  • Modeling for air-snow transfer and convective zone extent.

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