Astrophysics (Index)About

cold trap

(layer of atmosphere that prevents a gas from escaping by freezing it)

An atmosphere's cold trap is a layer that is cold enough to freeze a gas rising into it that would otherwise escape. The frozen gas descends again and remains. On Earth, a cold trap at about 20 km traps water vapor.

The term cold trap is also used for a region on the surface of a planet or moon that remain cold enough to keep volatiles frozen, particularly those caused by a permanent shadow.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages: