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Keywords:

  • snow;
  • blowing snow;
  • drifting snow;
  • Arctic;
  • visibility

Abstract

Between mid January and early May 2004, during the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study 2003–04 expedition, we conducted a field project in which we deployed blowing-snow particle counters, visibility sensors, a FlowCapt device, snow bags, an electric field meter and other instruments related to the observation of drifting and blowing snow on first-year ice in Franklin Bay, Northwest Territories, Canada. Average snow depth was 7 cm at the beginning of the campaign and increased to 17 cm towards the end. Snow density in the first 8 cm of snow cover varied from 80 to 450 g m−3, with a median value of 240 g m−3. Basic results will be presented that relate particle counter profiles, wind speed and other data to visibility. We discuss threshold conditions for blowing snow, heat and water vapour fluxes and the electric field. Relative humidity with respect to ice was generally greater than 95% and sublimation rates are believed to have been low. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.