One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Erosion of the ground beneath and at the sides of a snow bank, mainly as a result of alternate freezing and thawing.
- ‘Modification of snow cover by climatic change or ‘snow farming’ at ski resorts should have negligible effects on nivation and landforms.’
- ‘In this manner the depression is enlarged and deepened by the same process of nivation that inaugurated it.’
- ‘A common feature created by nivation is a nivation hollow.’
Early 20th century: from Latin nix, niv- ‘snow’ + -ation.
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