I lack on this picture some object, other than crystals. But nothing natural was there :-(
Thanks! I can't remember how big these crystals were. Perhaps 1 cm or even more...
I was wrong in the pic caption. Actually this is not snow. It's condensed water, frozen on the surafce - in this case on snow. How's that called in English?
I guess rime or frost.
Great shot! Looks like surface hoar to me. Beautiful but deadly. A lot of avalanches are triggered on buried layers of this stuff.
Yes, indeed! Great explanation!
Yes, this is surface hoar (usually not related to depth hoar as stated below - depth hoar is a product of snow metamorphism within the snowpack), and not rime.
Surface hoar crystals are created when the air cools to below its dew point, and vapour from the over-saturated air deposits onto the snow surface. The resulting crystals have a feathery, plate-like or sometimes needle-like shape, resulting in a very low strength.
Buried under snow surface hoar is a thin (in this case not even that thin) but weak of layer with low shear strength - and easy to overlook in snow profiles when really thin.
Rime on the other hand develops when super-cooled water (water drops colder than 0°C) hits a solid object and freezes onto it (mostly in windy conditions) - so this is a different process then surface hoar build-up.
Great picture, I never saw a better surface hoar picture before. I might want to use that for future presentation in relation to avalanches.
Hey, Peter, thanks for additional great explanation! If you need a high resolution picture, just let me know (I guess it's anyway only 1600x1200 pix).
Yes, this would be great. Should I need it, I will get back to you.
Terrific, one of the coolest pics ive seen on SP. It is like a forest of ice. Great perspective!
Thanks! As I said - it would need some object so set an eye on it. But anyway...
..of dendritic growth!
Magnificent. regards ROK
Incredible wood of ice crystals and perfectly captured!
The largest I have seen have been in an ice cave measuring about 20cm.
Ufff, 20 cm! It's amazing. So it depends on the speed - if it's freezing really slowly, they are bigger.
In the US it's called "hoar frost", or if it's deep between layers of the snowpack, it's "depth hoar", and something to be frightened of. Beautiful photo of it. I've never gotten close enough for a shot like that. If you have a tripod to allow a long exposure, stop you lense way down (high f-stop number), and the colored sparkles in sunlight will be revealed. When the lens is wide open, the different colors blend and are lost.
...have you ever skied through frost crystals like that...it sounds like breaking glass. Fantastic shot!
Thanks! Yes, skiing through it sounds strange :-)