Possible contribution of electric phenomena to snow–air interactions

Séminaire de E. Tkachenko, Vendredi 22 Juin à 14h en salle Lliboutry, Bâtiment Glaciologie

Title : Possible contribution of electric phenomena to snow–air interactions

Abstract : Polar near-surface snow can act as a chemical reactor that alters the composition and chemistry of snow and the overlying air. Although the mechanisms and driving forces of these reactions have long been debated, triboelectrification of snow by wind and some other electric phenomena have not yet been considered as factors. The proposed hypothesis attempts to explain some experimental data that cannot be fully understood. The major points of the hypothesis are : (1) when the electric field reaches a value sufficient for the onset of corona discharge, various free radical processes are initiated resulting in changes in the concentrations of ozone, OH radical,etc., and the decomposition of pollutant molecules ; (2) the high electric field can stimulate transport of ions (such as bromide and nitrate) from the condensed phase to the gas phase ; and (3) the ageing of charged snow can increase its electrical potential.

Ekaterina Tkachenko ; Department of Antarctic Geoecology, Institute of Geological Science, National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine