I have seen ice formations like this a few times. After cold rain saturates the clay, followed by a clear cold night sufficiently below freezing, whiskers of ice may grow out of the ground, sometimes pushing up light detritus above them. I’ve seen them two inches long, though the one I saw this morning were about an inch long.

This seems like it must have a name. Hey #lazyweb - anyone know what these things are called? 1af4fugzhcsr6.jpg




Eugene Crosser January 30, 2015 02:16

I remember seeing pictures of similar ice structures protruding from openings in fence posts made of iron pipe. But I cannot find them now. It was via reddit, if memory serves, it its early days.

edit: possibly this, but maybe not http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/extrude78/

edit2: these: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/Terris/ which does not answer your question though…

edit3: and sure enough, this one is about your particular case: http://my.ilstu.edu/~jrcarter/ice/needle/

Michael K Johnson January 30, 2015 06:05

Needle ice — Thank you so much!

Considerable research has been conducted on needle ice.  Lawler (1988) publised a bibliography of Needle Ice listing 267 references dating back to 1824.  The phenomenon occurs in many countries and is known as Kammeis or Stengeleis in German, Shimobashira in Japanese, Hielo acicular in Spanish and Piprakes in Swedish.  Lawler provides a table listing the many terms people have given for this phenomenon.

Michael K Johnson January 30, 2015 06:23

And Forest Mims III has produced a few timelapses:



Blair Christian February 01, 2015 16:47

Frost heaves, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/urban-jungle/pages/100112.html

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