1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Névé

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NÉVÉ, 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 névé, 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 névé suffers consolidation, until it becomes compact glacier-ice. The névé is thus the feeding ground of the glacier (q.v.). The word névé (Lat. nix, nivis, snow) is adopted from the French dialect of the French Alps; firn is German, meaning “last year's (snow).”