Godzilla Ice Needle

November 08, 2009


Photographer: Paul Gitto

Summary Author: Paul Gitto; Jim Foster

 The photo above shows a Godzilla shaped feature (about 2 in or 5 cm in height) that resulted from a process known as frost heave. On clear, cold nights, small rocks and stones that quickly lose their surface heat cause water to be drawn up out of the ground via capillary action. When temperatures are sufficiently cold, the water immediately freezes as it comes out of the ground, forming ice needles. Stones at the surface or just below it are pushed upward and askew by the protruding ice needles.