Online Encyclopedia

AVE, or FIRN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 456 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AVE, or FIRN, the name given to the partly consolidated masses of snow and ice which form in the hollows on the sides of mountains below the belt of freshly fallen snow and just above the compact glacier-ice. The neve, which generally consists of broad sheets of great beauty, is formed from the freshly fallen snow during a series of alternate thaws and frosts. These processes are accompanied by a gradual descent down the mountain side, during which the neve suffers consolidation, until it becomes compact glacier-ice. The neve is thus the feeding ground of the glacier (q.v.). The word rave (Lat. nix, nivis, snow) is adopted from the French dialect of the French Alps; firn is German, meaning " last year's (snow)."
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