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an accumulation of snow, firn, or ice in mountains or on plains that remains longer than the surrounding snow cover (seasonal snowfield) or year-round (perennial snow-field). Perennial snowfields usually occur in places protected from wind, or sun—on steep slopes or at the foot of such slopes, under the crests or brows of terraces, and in hollows, niches, and cirques; in polar regions they also occur in the form of gigantic drifts. Perennial snowfields are formations intermediate between the seasonal snow cover and glaciers. They differ from the latter in that they are smaller, they do not last as long, they are not divided into areas of accumulation and areas of melting, and they show no perceptible signs of movement. Avalanche snowfields are a special type; they may be preserved for long periods in unprotected places because of the huge masses of snow deposited by an avalanche.
REFERENCESTushinskii, G. K. Ledniki, snezhniki, laviny Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moscow, 1963.
Solntsev, N. A. Snezhniki, kak geomorfologicheskii faktor. Moscow, 1949.
P. A. SHUMSKII [23–1884–]