Frozen Fall Creek II

Natural Ice Sculpture

My last post, “Frozen Fall Creek I”, ended with macros of Ice Crystals on a bed of frost over creek ice within sight of our former home, a restored water mill. I continued on the ice, following the creek to this spot were the stream bed turns 90 degrees, changing from a southerly to a western flow.

Here I encountered an open course where constant water motion resisted freezing. A few frigid days later, the course had an amazing transformation.

Last To Freeze, Fall Creek

The transparent ice of the now frozen space retained the impression of movement, the surface rippled by current. In the following photograph, motionless ice crystals reveal the truth.

Ice Crystals on Water Frozen while Supercooled

In the intervening days, the constant motion resisted freezing while the water temperature dropped well past freezing to achieve a supercooled state. As the water temperature continued to drop, a fast transition from fluid to solid happened so quickly the movement of the water surface was preserved.

Ice Crystals on Water Frozen while Supercooled

Here is the matching “after” photograph to the “before” that started this post.

Channel of Water Frozen while Supercooled

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

26 thoughts on “Frozen Fall Creek II

  1. Beautiful photos Michael and it is amazing to see waterfalls, seas and lakes freeze.
    I grew up with this and we always hoped that the sea would freeze when it was no wind so
    the vast skating rink remainder flat.
    Must have been ‘ super cooled ‘ .

    Near my summer place in Sweden there is a big waterfall that freezes like yours. Quite stunning I think.


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  2. In your second photograph I did indeed think I was looking at rippling water rather than ice. In different circumstances I’ve occasionally had the opposite impression: rippling water photographed at a very fast shutter speed has seemed to be ice.

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    1. Interesting! It needs to be very clear water. The index of refraction for water is 1.5% higher than ice. so the appearance of the background is slightly different. Admittedly, it would be difficult to tell the difference but for the ice crystals on the surface.


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