Snow patterns seen in Spitsbergen island, Norway

Snow patterns seen in Spitsbergen island, Norway

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Credit: SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sculpted snow patterns, known as sastrugi, seen in Spitsbergen, the Norwegian island in the Svalbard archipelago on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. Sastrugi take an almost infinite variety of forms, from delicate etchings on a smooth slab of snow, to furrows and grooves up to 1 metre deep, sometimes with overhanging lips. They are formed by particles of snow, driven by high winds, scouring the surface. They usually form at temperatures of -10 to -20 Celsius or lower, when the snow particles are dry.

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Keywords: climate, cold, erosion, frozen, meteorology, norway, of snow, sastrugi, snow pattern, snow patterns, spitsbergen island, svalbard archipelago, weather, wind, wind erosion, winter

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