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Name: Will G.
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 12/17/2004

What is the density of ice at -5C, -10C, and -30C? I'm writing a book on ice climbing, I cannot find any info on the relationship of ice density and temperature. Ice pillars commonly fall down after cold snaps, not warming temperatures as one might expect. Ice climbers have learned to avoid pillars after the temperature drops, but nobody can figure out what the problem is. If ice continues to expand as temperature drops then why do the climbs fall down? If ice starts getting denser as temperature drops then there is an explanation there I think, but I want to know the facts before writing about this.

You can find the density of ice, as well as its thermal expansion coefficient, and isothermal compressibility in the Chemical Rubber Company (CRC) Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Any library would have a copy. But for info it is: 999.8425 [0], 999.259[-5], 998.120[-10], 996.286[-15], 993.550[-20], 989.588[-25], 983.857[-30]. Density units are kg/m^3 and temperature in square brackets [t C.] in degrees Celsius.

Vince Calder

Up-date 12/17/2004

The questioner wants to know the density of ice. The density values that are quoted in the answer are for LIQUID water, not for ICE. Water can exist as a liquid at temperatures below 0C in a supercooled state.

The CRC handbook of Chemistry and Physics does not give data on the density of ice, but ice information can be obtained from the U. S. Coast Guard.

The density of ice at 0C is about 917 kg/m^3, and at -45C is about 920 kg/m^3.

Bob Erck

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