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Published May 10, 2016 | Submitted
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Toward a Comprehensive Model of Snow Crystal Growth: 4. Measurements of Diffusion-limited Growth at -15 C


We present measurements of the diffusion-limited growth of ice crystals from water vapor at different supersaturation levels in air at a temperature of -15 C. Starting with thin, c-axis ice needle crystals, the subsequent growth morphologies ranged from blocky structures on the needle tips (at low supersaturation) to thin faceted plates on the needle tips (at high supersaturation). We successfully modeled the experimental data, reproducing both growth rates and growth morphologies, using a cellular-automata method that yields faceted crystalline structures in diffusion-limited growth. From this quantitative analysis of well-controlled experimental measurements, we were able to extract information about the attachment coefficients governing ice growth under different circumstances. The results strongly support previous work indicating that the attachment coefficient on the prism surface is a function of the width of the prism facet. Including this behavior, we created a comprehensive model at -15 C that explains all the experimental data. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a kinetic model that reproduces a range of diffusion-limited ice growth behaviors as a function of supersaturation.

Additional Information

We acknowledgement support from the Cambridge-Caltech Exchange Program, Caltech's WAVE Fellows Program, and the SURF program at Caltech.

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Submitted - 1512.03389v2.pdf


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October 18, 2023