Munising Blue Ice Caves

May 06, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Shawn Malone, Lake Superior Photos
Summary authors & editors: Shawn Malone

Snow and ice are among the brightest natural features since most of the visible light that strikes their surfaces is reflected back without any predominance in the visible color spectrum. Blue colors result from the optics of non spherical ice crystals scattering sunlight. If ice is sufficiently thick, the myriad crystals which compose it will both scatter and absorb sunlight (this goes for snow too). The longer wavelengths (red and yellow) of visible light are more readily absorbed than are the shorter wavelengths (greens and blues). Eventually, the red light is completely absorbed and only blue light emerges.

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