Field Photo: Ice Columns

Ice Crystal

Ice Crystal

Hexagonal columnar prism, the most basic form of a snow crystal. The six-fold symmetry is the consequence of the shape of water bonds; the facets managed to form so clearly due to very slow crystal growth.

I dug this chunk out of a clay-rich bank of a creek during a period of borderline freezing (±3°C) temperatures.

Coincidentally, this was the same time Matt at Agile* Geoscience was finding ice cups in his bird bath on the opposite side of the country. It was a good week for ice!

Related Reading
CalTech’s guide to Snow Crystals
The Cloud Collector’s Handbook
The Physics of Snow Crystals

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