Long-Chain Alcohol Suppression of Snow Evaporation

by James R. Meiman,
Charles W. Slaughter,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 6, Pg. 271-280

Document Type: Journal Paper


Autoradiographs and pan studies in the laboratory indicate that long-chain alcohols suppress evaporation from snow if applied as an emulsion. A 1 mg point source of activated hexadecanol (cetyl-1-C14 alcohol) spreads rapidly on ice water. The spread on a melting snow surface, sufficiently concentrated to form a compressed film, is less than 1 cm per hr. In evaporation pan studies with snow, application of powdered Sav-a-Pond (32% hexadecanol, 60% octadecanol) at 50 lb per acre and 100 lb per acre does not result in evaporation reductions. A 10% emulsion of Sav-a-Pond in water yields average evaporation reductions of 38% from a melting snow surface during short duration tests.

Subject Headings: Snowmelt | Evaporation | Snow | Laboratory tests | Mixtures | Ice | Water management | Compression

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