Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amazing Frozen Waves

Frozen Antarctic Waves
The water froze the instant the wave broke through the ice. That's what it is like in Antarctica. Water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air. The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing. Just look at how the wave froze in midair?

Origins:- Starkly beautiful wave-like ice formations like the ones they capture can indeed be found in parts of Antarctica. However, such formations are not created (as claimed in the text accompanying these images) by waves of water hitting frigid air and instantly freezing in place; they're typically formed over time from ice that has been compacted and uplifted by glaciation, then shaped through exposure to the elements: Most of these images in fact result from melting, not from freezing. Melting has produced the downward pointing spikes that look like a breaking wave ? they are simply icicles. Furthermore, the beautiful smoothly polished surfaces are again the result of melting; freshly frozen ice, especially ice that has frozen rapidly, is cloudy and opaque. The transparent ice in the photographs has been created in a glacier or ice cap by the slow annealing of ice as it is buried under each year's successive accumulation of snow.

These particular photographs (more of which can be seen here ) were taken at the Antarctic base of Dumont D'Urville by Tony Travouillon in 2002. In March 2008, the text accompanying these pictures was altered to place the ice formations in Michigan (due to the recent cold snap there).

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