|another name for névé|
|[C19: from German (Swiss dialect) firn of the previous year, from Old High German firni old]|
|firn (fîrn) Pronunciation Key
Granular, partially consolidated snow that has passed through one summer melt season but is not yet glacial ice. Firn becomes glacial ice once it has become impermeable to liquid water.
partially compacted granular snow that is the intermediate stage between snow and glacial ice. Firn is found under the snow that accumulates at the head of a glacier. It is formed under the pressure of overlying snow by the processes of compaction, recrystallization, localized melting, and the crushing of individual snowflakes. This process is thought to take a period of about one year. Annual layers of firn may often be detected by thin films of dust or ash that accumulate on the surface during each summer.
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