Influence of ice crystal aspect ratio on the evolution of ice size spectra during vapor depositional growth

Lindsay M. Sheridan, Jerry Y. Harrington, Dennis Lamb, Kara Sulia

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The relationship among aspect ratio, initial size, and the evolution of the size spectrum is explored for ice crystals growing by vapor deposition. Ice crystal evolution is modeled based on the growth of spheroids, and the ice size spectrum is predicted using a model that is Lagrangian in crystal size and aspect ratio. A dependence of crystal aspect ratio on initial size is discerned: more exaggerated shapes are shown to result when the initial crystals are small, whereas more isometric shapes are found to result from initially large crystals. This result is due to the nature of the vapor gradients in the vicinity of the crystal surface. The more rapid growth of the smaller crystals is shown to produce a period during which the size distribution narrows, followed by a broadening led by the initially smallest crystals. The degree of broadening is shown to depend strongly on the primary habit and hence temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3732-3743
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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