Mauna Kea Rime Ice

April 21, 2008


Provided and copyright by: David Lynch
Summary author: David Lynch 

The photo above shows impressive rime ice deposits coating the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Rime is an accumulation of ice that occurs when supercooled water drops in fog strike a cold surface and instantly freeze. Such conditions are often accompanied by high winds, and as a result, the rime grows horizontally on the windward side of anything exposed. After a severe three day storm on Mauna Kea, we were finally able to reach the summit. Here we found a winter wonderland of rime growing all over the Infrared Telescope Facility. Brandon Kaneshiro stands next to a snow pole with almost 2 feet (61 cm) of horizontally deposited rime! The twin Keck telescopes are in the background. Photo taken on December 7, 2007.