depth hoar


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depth hoar

[′depth ‚hȯr]
(hydrology)
A layer of ice crystals formed between the ground and snow cover by sublimation. Also known as sugar snow.
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One way of determining the risk of avalanche in any given spot is to dig pits and look for telltale signs of weak layers, such as so-called depth hoar and surface hoar--freezer-burn-like frost that occurs when snow vaporizes and recrystallizes.
7 Grainy, sugarlike depth hoar crystals will slide and take all the above layers with them if their weak bonds break apart.
The molecules rearrange themselves to form sugarlike granides, called depth hoar crystals, which are not cohesive--they don't stick together.