The main thing that melts snow is the sun. Indeed, without the sun, the air itself would eventually turn to snow.
The problem is, the sun melts snow inefficiently. The sun emits radiation (a lot of which is visible light), which the snow simply reflects, do to being white. Indeed, snow reflects enough light to blind people.
Oil, on the other hand, is black, and absorbs light and radiation. Would spreading oil on top of the snow make it melt significantly faster?
- Oil is black, Snow is White, so Oil absorbs convert radiation to heat better.
- Oil conducts heat better than air, so it will conduct its heat to the snow well.
- Oil is lighter than water, and also doesn't mix water, so it won't soak much into the snow, (which would prevent it from absorbing radiation).
Are these claims true, and are these effects significant?
Note: When the snow is almost melted, you can set the oil on fire. It won't melt the snow very much (it takes a lot of energy to melt snow), but it will clean up the oil.