Ice - Formation

Formation

Ice that is found at sea may be in the form of sea ice, pack ice, or icebergs. The term that collectively describes all of the parts of the Earth's surface where water is in frozen form is the cryosphere. Ice is an important component of the global climate, particularly in regard to the water cycle. Glaciers and snowpacks are an important storage mechanism for fresh water; over time, they may sublimate or melt. Snowmelt is often an important source of seasonal fresh water.

Rime is a type of ice formed on cold objects when drops of water crystallize on them. This can be observed in foggy weather, when the temperature drops during the night. Soft rime contains a high proportion of trapped air, making it appear white rather than transparent, and giving it a density about one quarter of that of pure ice. Hard rime is comparatively denser.

Aufeis is layered ice that forms in Arctic and subarctic stream valleys. Ice, frozen in the stream bed, blocks normal groundwater discharge, and causes the local water table to rise, resulting in water discharge on top of the frozen layer. This water then freezes, causing the water table to rise further and repeat the cycle. The result is a stratified ice deposit, often several meters thick.

Ice can also form icicles, similar to stalactites in appearance, or stalagmite-like forms as water drips and re-freezes.

Clathrate hydrates are forms of ice that contain gas molecules trapped within its crystal lattice.

Pancake ice is a formation of ice generally created in areas with less calm conditions.

Candle Ice is a form of Rotten Ice that develops in columns perpendicular to the surface of a lake.

Ice discs are circular formations of ice surrounded by water in a river.

The World Meteorological Organization defines several kinds of ice depending on origin, size, shape, influence and so on.

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