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The ice season lasts about eight months in Lake Kilpisjärvi, from November to June (Table 2). The ice cover consists of three principal layers: congelation ice, snow-ice and snow. Occasionally there may be slush sub-layers in the snow or snow-ice layer. In slush formation, snow is compacted so that the thickness of slush is less than the original snow thickness. In the ice seasons in 2007–2009, the mean snow and snow-ice thickness corresponded to snow accumulation by about 70 cm, which is less than snow accumulation on the ground (on average 90 cm, from FEI data archives), the difference is largely due to drifting of snow from the lake. The snow in snow-ice corresponded to 30 cm snow accumulation due to snow compression in snow-ice formation (see Leppäranta & Kosloff 2000), and when the snow cover on ice is added to this, we have altogether a representative snow accumulation of 70 cm.

Table 2

Seasonal and average ice characteristics in the study winters. Comparison to climatology is also provided (Lei et al. 2012): freeze-up and breakup from 1952–2010, ice thickness from 1981–1990, and snow from 1977–2010

 2007–20082008–2009MeanSD
Freeze-up date 14 Nov 10 Nov 8 Nov 8.2 d 
Maximum ice thickness (cm) 85 88 90 7.5 
  • - congelation ice

 
51 78 70 17.3 
  • - snow-ice

 
34 10 20 17.1 
  • - date of occurrence

 
20 Apr 30 Apr 14 Apr 14.9 d 
Maximum snow thicknessa 36 43 37 9.1 
  • - date of occurrence

 
20 Apr 20 Mar 4 Mar 34.4 d 
Ice breakup date 21 Jun 8 Jun 18 Jun 6.8 d 
 2007–20082008–2009MeanSD
Freeze-up date 14 Nov 10 Nov 8 Nov 8.2 d 
Maximum ice thickness (cm) 85 88 90 7.5 
  • - congelation ice

 
51 78 70 17.3 
  • - snow-ice

 
34 10 20 17.1 
  • - date of occurrence

 
20 Apr 30 Apr 14 Apr 14.9 d 
Maximum snow thicknessa 36 43 37 9.1 
  • - date of occurrence

 
20 Apr 20 Mar 4 Mar 34.4 d 
Ice breakup date 21 Jun 8 Jun 18 Jun 6.8 d 

aSnow on lake ice.

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