Term: Dendritic crystal Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 6 June 2017
Last modified 6 June 2017
Contributed by GCW Glossary


Definition: (Or dendrite.) A crystal, particularly a planar ice crystal, with its macroscopic form (crystal habit) characterized by intricate branching structures of a treelike nature. Dendritic ice crystals possess hexagonal symmetry, and tend to develop when a crystal grows by vapor deposition at temperatures within a few degrees of -15C, providing saturation is close to supercooled water. Similar forms occur by ice growth into supercooled liquid water at temperatures down to -10C. Spatial dendrites grow in three dimensions from a central frozen drop.  AMSglossary 

Ice crystals whose macroscopic form is characterized by intricate branching structures which are treelike in form and which possess hexagonal symmetry in ideal form.  WMOMeteoterm