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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Loose Snow


Snow grains can have low cohesion between them for a variety of reasons. In cold conditions new snow may initially have low cohesion between the crystals (until some settlement takes place) and dry loose snow avalanches (or sluffs) can occur. In warm conditions, or with rain, snow grains may have low cohesion due to an excess of water in the snow, which may percolate down through the snowpack. Metamorphism can also result in the faceting of crystals and the lose of cohesion between them.

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