Quantitative Three-Dimensional Basal Ice Roughness from Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Faculty Advisor

Neshyba, Steven

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2018


A method for analyzing the three-dimensional surface roughness on the basal facets of polar ice crystals is presented. A functional form of backscattered electron intensity as a function of ice facet orientation is adapted for the use of the basal facet. Using the Gauss-Newton inversion within a Bayesian framework a three dimensional representation of rough surfaces are retrieved at roughly micrometer resolution. Following the development of new statistical measures allow for higher statistical confidence and the connection to a scaling growth mechanism for crystal development. In a collection of results from temperatures ranging from -29 degrees celsius to -35 degrees celsius shows the characteristic of basal roughening to follow crystalline symmetry and a scaling growth mechanism. These results point to a opportunity to use three-dimensional modeling to identify the growth mechanism in polar ice crystals found in cirrus clouds.


University of Puget Sound

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