Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-319
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-319
26 Feb 2024
 | 26 Feb 2024

Stable and unstable fall motions of plate-like ice crystal analogues

Jennifer R. Stout, Christopher D. Westbrook, Thorwald H. M. Stein, and Mark W. McCorquodale

Abstract. The orientation of ice crystals affects their microphysical behaviour, growth, and precipitation. Orientation also affects interaction with electromagnetic radiation, and through this, influences remote sensing signals, in-situ observations, and optical effects. Fall behaviours of a variety of 3D-printed plate-like ice crystal analogues in a tank of water-glycerine mixture are observed with multi-view cameras and digitally reconstructed to simulate falling of ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Four main falling regimes were observed: stable, zigzag, transitional, and spiralling. Stable motion is characterised by no resolvable fluctuations in velocity or orientation, with the maximum dimension oriented horizontally. The zigzagging regime is characterised by a back-and-forth swing, corresponding to a time series of inclination angle approximated by a rectified sine wave. In the spiralling regime, analogues consistently incline at an angle between 7 and 28 degrees, depending on particle shape. Transitional behaviour exhibits motion in between spiral and zigzag, similar to that of a falling spherical pendulum.

The inclination angles that unstable planar ice crystals make with the horizontal plane are found to have a non-zero mode. This observed behaviour does not fit the Gaussian model of inclination angle that is common in the literature. The typical Reynolds number when oscillations start is strongly dependent on shape: solid hexagonal plates begin to oscillate at Re = 237, whereas several dendritic shapes remain stable throughout all experiments, even at Re > 1000.

Jennifer R. Stout, Christopher D. Westbrook, Thorwald H. M. Stein, and Mark W. McCorquodale

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • AC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-319', Jen Stout, 18 Mar 2024
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-319', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-319', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Mar 2024
Jennifer R. Stout, Christopher D. Westbrook, Thorwald H. M. Stein, and Mark W. McCorquodale
Jennifer R. Stout, Christopher D. Westbrook, Thorwald H. M. Stein, and Mark W. McCorquodale

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Short summary
This study uses 3D-printed ice crystal analogues falling in a water-glycerine mix, and observed with multi-view cameras, simulating atmospheric conditions. Four types of motion are observed: stable, zigzag, transitional, and spiralling. Particle shape strongly influences motion; complex shapes have a wider range of conditions where they fall steadily compared to simple plates. The most common orientation of unstable particles is non-horizontal, contrary to prior assumptions of always horizontal.