Name: Marie Z.
I wanted to find out about colored snow. I found a site
on 'Watermelon Snow" but can't find info on the other colors of snow and
their causes. Can you help me out? I am using it to make a bulletin
board about "People Are Like Snow"
Red algae in snow is a common phenomena on high mountains
throughout the world, particularly in Spring, when there
is meltwater in the snow pack that the algae need. I looked
up the Watermelon Snow site that you visited and it gives
lots of great information on it!
Snow can be colored by other things. For instance, snow
can be brownish when soil/sand is mixed in. It is not too
unusual for sandstorms over the Sahara to lift soil into
the air, where the atmospheric winds transport it long
distances to, for instance, southern Europe, where
it is combined with snow to produce brown or reddish snow.
Of course snow can also be colored by sand/soil or other
atmospheric aerosols or soot falling on snow already on the
ground. I can imagine that many cities once had grey snow
as soot from coal and wood burning fell on the snow.
I do not know of any other natural colors of snow.
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012