Young Ice

nilas_ice

“During the morning, went for a stroll to the old lead ahead, which which is now nearly a foot thick. I was much interested in examining the contexture of the recent young ice formed on the lead and on some pools in our vicinity. The growth commences by the formation of small fish scale-like crystals which accumulate, without definite orientation, in horizontal layers. This formation extends below the surface for about half an inch, when the small plate crystals gradually arrange themselves till they become vertical. This is probably due to the heavier saline solution sinking and so directing automatically the disposition of the plates. The accretion continues by the increments of these vertical scales. This new ice fractures at right angles to its plane. The ice subsequently undergoes further recrystallization, appearing distinctly fibrous in texture.”

ā€” Frank Hurley

[Image of nilas ice from earthlyissues.com]

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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