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Ice feathers

Ice feathers

E245/0123

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Credit

DUNCAN SHAW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DUNCAN SHAW / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Ice feathers. These ice formations on granite boulders are also known as frost feathers. It is a type of hoar frost which forms on the windward side of objects subjected to icy winds. Ice feathers are are made up of single, columnar ice crystals, some of which grow out from others at oblique angles, thus creating a delicate spatial array of tiny crystals. Because they indicate the direction of prevailing winds, ice crystals may help in local avalanche prediction. Photographed on Fiacaill Ridge in the Northern Corries, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, in November.

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