Healing of snow surface-to-surface contacts by isothermal sintering

Through cold laboratory mechanical tests with a new shear apparatus we demonstrate time-dependent effects of isothermal sintering on interface strengthening at various normal pressures

E. A. Podolskiy

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • Due to a high homologous temperature, snow and ice sintering has the fastest rate of any other Earth material at similar pressures and temperatures
  • Through cold laboratory mechanical tests with a new shear apparatus we demonstrate time-dependent effects of isothermal sintering on interface strengthening at various normal pressures
  • Measurements showed that interfacial strength evolved rapidly, conforming to a power law; higher pressure corresponded to higher initial strength and sintering rates
  • It was found that the interfacial strength increase is nonlinear for all reported loading conditions; it occurs most intensely within the first four hours and continues afterwards at much lower rates and may be described as following a power law function of time with a mean exponent around 0.21
  • This exponent agrees well with several other experimental studies, which were based on artificial homogeneous snow, completely different instrumental methods or shorter timescales
  • The observed dependency indicates that homogeneous and interfacial snow/ice sintering share comparable fundamental dynamics, which is very sensitive to normal pressure and www.the-cryosphere.net/8/1651/2014/

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