Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 15, 2739–2755, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-2739-2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 2739–2755, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-2739-2021

Research article 18 Jun 2021

Research article | 18 Jun 2021

Impact of water vapor diffusion and latent heat on the effective thermal conductivity of snow

Kévin Fourteau et al.

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Short summary
The thermal conductivity of snow is an important physical property governing the thermal regime of a snowpack and its substrate. We show that it strongly depends on the kinetics of water vapor sublimation and that previous experimental data suggest a rather fast kinetics. In such a case, neglecting water vapor leads to an underestimation of thermal conductivity by up to 50 % for light snow. Moreover, the diffusivity of water vapor in snow is then directly related to the thermal conductivity.