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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-280
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-280
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Apr 2019

Research article | 09 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Air pockets and secondary habits in ice from lateral-type growth

Jon Nelson1 and Brian Swanson2,3 Jon Nelson and Brian Swanson
  • 1Redmond Physical Sciences, Redmond, 98052, USA
  • 2Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, 98195, USA
  • 3Laucks Foundation Research, Salt Spring Island BC, V8K2E5, Canada

Abstract. Often overlooked in studies of ice growth is how the crystal faces grow laterally. This paper explores the implications of such lateral-type growth and how it may explain air pockets and other secondary features of vapor-grown ice in air. For example, using a new crystal-growth chamber, we observed air pockets forming at crystal corners when a sublimated crystal is regrown. This and other observations support the idea that the lateral spreading of a face, and its (in some cases) extension as a thin overhang over the adjoining region, is driven by a flux of surface-mobile admolecules across the face to the lateral-growth front. Inspired by recent work on this topic by Prof. A. Yamashita of Osaka Kyoiku University, we call this flux adjoining surface transport (AST) and the extension overgrowth protruding growth, then apply the concepts to observed ice and snow crystals, including some from a cloud chamber and others from our experiments. We also suggest that such lateral-type growth may explain other air pockets, droxtal centers in dendrites, hollow terracing and banding, multiple-capped columns, scrolls, trigonals, and sheath clusters. For dendrites and sheaths, AST may increase their maximum dimensions and round their tips.

Jon Nelson and Brian Swanson
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Jon Nelson and Brian Swanson
Jon Nelson and Brian Swanson
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Latest update: 24 Jun 2019
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Short summary
Ice crystals in clouds have a wide variety of form. But many forms seem inexplicable using the common approach of modeling the normal growth rates of the crystal faces. Instead of using only the normal-growth process, we suggest including lateral-growth processes. With these lateral-growth processes, backed up by new experiments, we give explanations for some of these puzzling forms. The forms include the center droxtal in stellar crystals, scrolls, capped columns, sheath bundles, and trigonals.
Ice crystals in clouds have a wide variety of form. But many forms seem inexplicable using the...
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