Frost Flower

Frost Flower

Frost Flower

Frost flowers are ice crystal formations that form on very thin lake and sea ice when the air is much cooler than the ice. A supersaturated vapor layer is created directly above the ice (due to sublimation where the phase changes directly from ice to vapor). The interaction between the warmer wet air and the cold dry air just above it, can condense as hoar frost-like crystals on the ice surface. This process requires very little to no wind. The only difference between the sea and lake formation is high salinity over the sea creates very salty sea ice frost flowers, at least 3 times saltier than the seawater.

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