The project is a joint project between the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) to investigate the impact of snow metamorphism on the redistribution of particulate and soluble impurities. It's founded by the Swiss National Fond (SNF).
Chemical compounds from the atmosphere are deposited on the ground during snowfall. If the snow is not completely melting, like on polar and alpine glaciers, these impurities are preserved in the snowpack and later incorporated the glacier ice. To use the impurity record of an ice core as a proxy for past changes of climate, the processes leading to the final embedding of this chemical impurities in the snow has to be understood. Especially the recrystallization of the snowpack during metamorphism can cause a redistribution of embedded compounds. We therefore investigated the transport of compounds as major ions, stable water isotopes and black carbon in the dynamic snow.