Wednesday, July 28, 2010

watery wednesday: ice needles

My cousin Alicia visited me. She had been in the mountains skiing at Mt Ruepehu. She took this photos. Looking from the thumbnail, I thought they were icicles. But when I looked at the big picture, I thought they looked like ice needlea and when I went to ggogle search, I wasn't wrong. They were called ice needles.

I have not seen ice needles before in Canada or in New Zealand http://annkschin.blogspot.com/2008/11/winter-in-mt-ruepahu.html. Neither have I seen them on the blogs. Is this phenomenon quite rare? It has a characteristic filamentous appearance with individual needles extending independently and in fascicular bundles.

Thank you Alicia for this eye opener.

Jama asked if it is dangerous, it makes me think of the Indian Gurus who lie down on a bed of needles.

My Cousin and her friends were very curious about the needles. Initially they thought there were grass or twigs, upon examination, they were shards of ice needles.

Needle ice is a phenomenon that occurs when the temperature of the soil is above 0 °C (32 °F) and the surface temperature of the air is below 0 °C (32 °F). The subterranean moisture is brought to the surface via capillary action.

The ice needles are typically a few centimetres long. While growing, they may lift or push away small soil particles.


Tussy said...

Beautiful, but I'm afraid if it is dangerous?

My Bangkok Through My Eyes

Tussy said...

Beautiful, but I'm afraid if it is dangerous?

My Bangkok Through My Eyes

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is unusual. Thanks to you both for sharing the awesome pictures.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Goodness, I've never seen anything like this! Are they growing just on their own, or is the ice covering some spiky leaves? I wonder how such a thing happens? Really an amazing thing, I will have to Google it to find out.

Dar said...

I forget you are in winter. Your ice needles we see too when the weather turns freezing cold quickly during a rain. Amazing to capture this. Have a warm day.

Ebie said...

They look like crystals too! I have never seen ice needles before!

Michael said...

Nice pictures.

Al said...

I don't think I've seen anything like that here in Colorado, although we do get ice forming on things in our freezing fogs.

Jama said...

I've never seeing something like this, so pretty! but must be dangerous?

Bradley Hsi said...

Amazing photos and phenomena! Thanks for sharing this information.