The Growth and Dynamics of Brinicles
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AbstractObservations in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans show that where cold, dense brine is rejected from new sea ice, hollow ice formations, known as brinicles form around these streamers of brine. In an experimental study, we grew these brinicles in a tank maintained at its freezing temperature inside a freezer. We pumped brine at a fixed temperature and flow rate into this tank and recorded these brinicles growing. We grew and recorded these brinicles in tanks of differing salinities, ranging from completely fresh water to the salinity in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. By analyzing these images in MatLab, we were able to detect the edges of these brinicles, and compare the lengths and widths to a model by S. Martin. We were also able to compare these brinicles with aa new model, based on the thickness of the walls of the brinicle. The shape of these brinicles was also analyzed, and we saw that as the salinity of the water in which they grew increased, the structure of the brincles changed. In more saline water, the ice crystals in the brinicles were oriented radially, the brinicles were much more fragile and prone to falling apart, and the outer edges appear smoother.
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