The change in temperature over snowpack depth.
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Temperature Gradient:



Temperature gradient is a very important in the snowpack because when temperature changes more than about 1 degree centigrade per 10 centimeters, the snow metamorphoses into weak, sugary, faceted crystals, which cause the lion’s share of avalanche accidents. Large temperature gradients usually occur when cold, clear weather causes the snow surface to become very cold, or if the snow is especially shallow—or both. (See faceted snow.) Luckily, temperature gradient metamorphism is completely reversible; when you take away the temperature gradient, the crystals start to metamorphose back into rounded, well-bonded grains.

Additional Terms:
Anchors Hard Slab Avalanche Slide
Aspect High Danger Sluff
Avalanche High Marking Snowpit
Avalanche Path Isothermal Soft Slab Avalanche
Avalanche Transceiver Layer, Snow Stability
Bed Surface Leeward Stability Test
Collapse Loading Starting Zone
Concave Slope Loose Snow Avalanche Stepping Down
Considerable Danger Low Avalanche Hazard Sun Crust
Convex Slope Melt-Freeze Snow Surface Hoar
Cornice Metamorphism, Snow Sympathetic Trigger
Corn Snow Moderate Danger Temperature Gradient
Couloir Persistent Weak Layers Terrain Trap
Cross Loading Point-Release Track
Crown Face Probe Trigger
Danger Ratings Propagation Trigger Point
Deep Slab Avalanche Rain Crust Upside-Down Storm
Density, Snow Remote Trigger Weak Layer
Depth Hoar Rime Weak Interface
Dry Snow Avalanche Runout Zone Wet Snow Avalanche
Extreme Danger Sastrugi Windward
Faceted Snow Settlement Wind Loading
Fracture Ski or Slope Cut Wind Slab
Glide Skinning, Skin Track Whumpf
Graupel Slab  

 

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