Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
Research article
31 Aug 2022
Research article |  | 31 Aug 2022

Grain-size evolution controls the accumulation dependence of modelled firn thickness

Jonathan Kingslake, Robert Skarbek, Elizabeth Case, and Christine McCarthy


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Short summary
Firn is snow that has persisted for at least 1 full year on the surface of a glacier or ice sheet. It is an intermediate substance between snow and glacial ice. Firn compacts into glacial ice due to the weight of overlying snow and firn. The rate at which it compacts and the rate at which it is buried control how thick the firn layer is. We explore how this thickness depends on the rate of snow fall and how this dependence is controlled by the size of snow grains at the ice sheet surface.