05 February 2009

More ice spikes

Yesterday morning the temperature was around -5ºC and had become quite suddenly colder overnight. I found two ice spikes, so the conditions must have been near perfect. Unusually, neither was in the paint tray that has been so productive in the past.

The larger ice spike appeared to have frozen at its tip and produced another tip on the upper side. It had a vertical height of 38mm, though the length from the right side of the base (as seen in the 1st picture) to the tip of the spike was 55mm.

The next picture shows the large tray in which this spike had formed. It measures 52x52mm and the water depth was around 40mm.

A second spike had formed in a flooded plant pot. This one was much smaller - 30mm in height.

To the right of this spike were 3 small humps. Maybe there were 4 competing gaps in the ice, and the spike on the left won comparatively late in the process of formation.

There are more ice spikes on our website and you can read more on the website of the Physics Department of the University of Toronto.

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