Sastrugi snow patterns

Sastrugi snow patterns

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Credit: DAVID VAUGHAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sastrugi snow patterns on the surface of an Antarctic ice sheet. Each element is approximately 10 metres long. These patterns are formed by particles of snow, driven by high winds, scouring the surface. The patterns can 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 usually form at temperatures of -10 to -20 degrees Celsius or lower, when the snow particles are dry. Photographed in the 2005/2006 summer season.

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Keywords: 2005, 2006, 21st century, antarctic, antarctica, climate, cold, deposition, frozen, meteorological, meteorology, patterend, pattern, patterns, sastruga, sastrugi, sculpted, snow, south pole, summer, weather, west antarctica, white, wind erosion, winter

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