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


Definition: Small needle-like ice crystals, typically 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter, suspended in water, that represent the first stages of sea ice growth; they merge under calm conditions to form thin sheets of ice on the surface, frazil crystals consist of nearly pure fresh water.  NSIDCCryosphere 

(Or frazil crystals; also called needle ice.) Ice crystals that form in supercooled water that is too turbulent to permit coagulation into sheet ice. This is most common in swiftly flowing streams, but is also found in a turbulent sea (where it is called lolly ice). It may accumulate as anchor ice on submerged objects obstructing the water flow.  AMSglossary