lines in ice on a puddle 1

These are more of the photos I took a few days ago when it was cold. They’re all of ice on puddles in the same general area. I love it when lines like this form, but I have no idea why they do. In this set the lines were all long and exceedingly elegant.

I didn’t notice until I looked at the photo, but there’s also a line along the junction between the ice and the dirt. I’m not sure if it’s discoloured ice or just a wee ridge of dirt pushed up by the ice’s expansion.

lines on ice in a puddle 2

lines on ice in a puddle 3

Evidently any obstruction in the path of the forming ice gets incorporated into the design.


2 thoughts on “Icelines

  1. Thank you! I suspect their formation has something to do with relative temperatures, pressure and expansion within puddles. I started trying to find information online, but ran into a few problems (one being that the search engine kept offering content relating to hockey when the keywords I used included both “ice” and “lines.”

    I still don’t know why they form, and it quickly became clear that I’d have to spend a LOT of time digging if I wanted to find out. Probably I just need to find an ice specialist, I’ll bet every scientist working in related fields could tell me exactly what I want to know. But in the meantime, I found some cool stuff online.

    Popular Mechanics has a list of terms, with pictures.

    Brittanica has a lot of frighteningly technical information about how ice forms.

    Did you know that there’s a National Snow and Data Center? Neither did I.

    Environment Canada has an ice glossary! I am entranced by the fact that a downward projection from the underside of an ice canopy is called a bummock. I’m also intrigued by the concept of Agglomerated Brash.

    And another glossary: wow.

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