Monday, January 31, 2011

Needle Ice


 Ever wonder why rocks seem to forever be working their way to the surface? 
 Here's your answer...
... ice.

We had a little impromptu science lesson this morning, in the yard.
Observe the humble mole hill...

On the small scale it's called needle ice.  On the large scale it's frost heave.
Basically, there is water in the soil.  The air above drops below freezing.
Ice crystals begin to form, and they grow in the direction of heat loss. Up.
And they push the soil and stones up above them.

Look closer.

Pretty amazing :D

12 comments:

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

If you were my teacher I'd have learned so much useful stuff! I always wondered about that.

Gramma Grasshopper said...

You are a creative, wonderfel, IMPROMTU teacher - and I'm glad my 'grands' have you!

Ruby said...

Wow...like just WOW!!!
Don't see that here of course!

Craig and Heather said...

How fun!

I don't think I've ever seen that phenomenon before.

Heather

Felicity said...

Wow! Really interesting.
Don't see that here either.

Anonymous said...

for sure not in Cape Town...I think wind does that for us...excavating and repositioning the sand :o))

Cathy M. said...

Cool stuff (literally)! Reaching way back into my nearly lost education, there was some law of physics that describes how relatively large solid objects rise above smaller particles; another reason rocks and turnips work their way to the surface of the yard. Children have an innate awareness of it when they want to be the first to get into a fresh can of nuts so they can get the Brazils. (Ha!)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Yes, Cathy, something about how particles settle. Seems like a year or so ago we did this with dried beans and flour in a jar, but the brazil nuts would be more fun!

The dB family said...

This is soooo cool! I don't think I've ever seen that here even though it definitely happens. Maybe because it's usually covered in snow?

Blessings!
Deborah

quilt-n-mama said...

That is amazing! I have never seen anything like that! Blessings this week!

Rose-Marie said...

We just saw our very first needle ice in our front yard yesterday. SOOOOOOOOO cool! I hadn't ever seen it before (see? I should have checked here first!), so I looked it up online. Here is a link to a geology professor's really great weird-ice article I stumbled on--some really crazy phenomena out there! Check it out: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/diurnal/

Herding Grasshoppers said...

There are great pictures on that site, thanks Rose-Marie :D