Blue Arctic Ice
Name: Craig E.
Why is some arctic ice blue?
Pure ice in the form of large single crystals (definition
from the Glossary of Meteorology) is blue. The blue wavelengths of
light are scattered most by the pure ice. The purer the
water that the crystals form from, the deeper the blue color.
Icebergs, glaciers and ice sheets (which produce icebergs), Arctic, and
Antarctic ice can be blue if large ice crystals of pure water
have grown in them.
David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Update: June 2012