Ground Ice


I SEE in your issue of January 30, p. 295, a letter from the Rev. John J. Hampson asking some questions on the subject of ground ice. I should like to say that my father, the late Prof. James Thomson, read a paper on this subject at the Natural History and Philosophical Society of Belfast on May 7, 1862, and I think his paper answers most of the questions. Thus he writes, after reviewing and setting aside several older theories:—“My own view is that the crystals of ice are frozen from the water at any part of the depth of the stream: whether the top, the middle, or the bottom, where cold may be introduced, either by contact or radiation; and that they may also be supplied in part by snow or otherwise: and that they are whirled about in currents and eddies until they come in contact with some fixed objects to which they can adhere, and which may perhaps be rocks or stones or may be pieces of ice accidentally jammed in crevices of the rocks or stones: or may be ground ice already grown from such a beginning.”

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THOMSON, J. Ground Ice . Nature 77, 366 (1908).

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