Hair Ice

Hair ice (in German Haareis) is formed at dead wood by conditions of high humidity and temperatures near freezing point. Water in the pores expands below 4°C and freezes on the surface. In this way fine ice needles were created. (123)

I found it in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) in southern Germany.

Author: Helga Schöps, Germany

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Posted on May 27, 2011, in ice phenomena, observations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Noli said…

    Were these very nice ice hairs photographed at the end of this winter? I have read about them that they might mostly form when the first frosts arrive in october – november.

  2. Helga said…

    Hi Noli,
    I photographed these pictures at 2009-01-02. The temperature was around 0°C.
    Many greetings! Helga

  3. Timo K. said…

    We had here in Finland – some time ago this year – really good ice frost coverage, in many trees. Especially good ones were in branches of birch. They did not look like the ones in attached image. Typically similar to thin needles, about 10mm long.

    Any idea what causes this structure similar to hair fibres ?

  4. Timo K. said…

    In my previous post, I meant to ask – is there any nucleus to ice, what it covers ? Or is the new ice only formed into the tip of “hair” ?

  5. Noli said…

    Helga, thank you for the reply! You are lucky to have these nice pics!

  6. Noli said…

    Timo, the ice hairs and ice ribbons and such frost features form if the plant has a big water content that quickly freezes inside and as the ice needs more place than fluid water, it is forced out of the plant on the small cracks of it. Here is a good site with many good info and pics about the whole phenomena: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/

  7. Timo K. said…

    Thanks Noli, for info…

  8. Helga said…

    Hi all,

    I have also sent this photo EPOD. There you can still find an explanation. I am pleased with your interest!

    http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2010/02/hair-ice.html

    Regards Helga

  9. Noli said…

    Helga, that was a great idea!

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