On the structure of fresh water and salt water ice

More details on the structure of fresh water and salt water ice.

Fresh water and salt water ice have very different structures as I already discussed in this post.

Fresh water ice (on the left) and salt water ice (on the right).

In the image above you see that the structures are very different. Whereas fresh water ice is clear and transparent, salt water ice has a porous structure and is milky.

Investigating fresh water and salt water ice cubes in class. Already in this photo the difference is clearly visible, and it is even more obvious when you pick up the cups and look at the ice cubes from the side.

The pores can be made visible by dropping dye on the ice cubes, as we did in class on Tuesday. For salt water ice, dye penetrates into the ice cube along the brine channels; the ice cube seems to be soaking up the dye like a sponge and becomes colored through and through. In case of the fresh water ice, dye cannot penetrate because the crystal structure is so regular and tight, and the dye just comes off the ice.

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