Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Snow Features

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_625


Surface structures produced from atmospherically precipitated granular material during or after deposition, typically redistributed by aeolian processes.



Depositional structures (formed by free and forced deposition): friable freshly deposited snow cover (Kotlyakov 1966), snow-drift forms, snow ripple marks (cm scale in wavelength, mm scale in height), snow waves (m scale transverse dunes), snow barchans (Fig. 1) (“barchanoids”). Erosional structures: sastrugi (elongate grooves resulted from differential wind carving or hardened snow ridges (Bromwich et al. 1990)); irregular patterns, including cleavage patterns, pits, or corrasion hollows (Kotlyakov 1966, p. 59); and inverted forms (e.g., footprints) (Doumani 1967). Large-scale undulations: transverse  snow megadunes. On Earth, microtopography of snow surfaces is characterized by  ablation hollows during summer and  Sastruga during winter (Herzfeld et al. 2003).
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA