Frost Flower and Ice Ribbons

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At middle latitudes or high altitudes in autumn conditions arise in which we can observe ribbons ice formations. In late October and early November 2011 immediately above the ground around the stems of some plants appeared icy ribbons.

Fig. 1. Ice ribbons

These delicate ice formations occur at temperatures of about - 2oC (from - 6 to – 1oC) and relative humidity around 40%. Earth is still warm and maintains a weak capillary cycle of plant stems. Juice of the root system of plants rising in the trunk, go out and freeze it. Steady stream of herbal juice supports the process of growth of ice crystals, Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Forming of ice crystals.

Crystals grow, but its way across obstacles (grass, rocks, branches), which gives them the most unusual shapes. Depending on weather conditions, ice crystals can grow up to 10cm.

The following images show different ice ribbons on 31 October and 1 November 2011.
For the images were used CANON 1Ds Mark II, Canon lenses EF100mm IS USM, 1/2.8





Before sunrise


More about ice flower:

frost flower

Geography-Geology Department, Illinois State University