Angle of repose of snow: An experimental study on cohesive properties
Journal article, 2022

The angle of repose is a measure reflecting the internal friction and cohesion properties of a granular material. In this paper, we present an experimental setup and measurements for the angle of repose of snow for seven different snow samples over a large range of temperatures. The results show that the angle of repose is dependent on the fall height, the temperature, and the grain size of the snow. These variables are quantified, and their interdependencies are separately studied. With increased snow temperature, the angle of repose increases, and this can be explained by the presence of a liquid layer on ice that can be thermodynamically stable at temperatures below the melting point of water. With decreasing grain size the angle of repose also increases which is expected since the cohesive energy decreases more slowly than the grain mass. For increasing fall height, the snow grains generally accelerate to larger collisional velocities, yielding a smaller angle of repose. In general, the dimensionless cohesion number was found to largely reflect the dependencies of the variables and is therefore useful for understanding what affects the angle of repose. The results demonstrate that the drag force and collision dynamics of ice grains are important for understanding how snow accumulates on a surface, for example if one desires predicting snow accretion by simulating a dispersed cloud of snow.


Angle of repose

Snow physics

Snow adhesion

Snow cohesion


Snow accumulation


Tobias Eidevåg


Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Erik S Thomson

University of Gothenburg

David Kallin


Johan Casselgren

Luleå University of Technology

Anders Rasmuson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Cold Regions Science and Technology

0165-232X (ISSN)

Vol. 194 103470

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



More information

Latest update