Nooks and Corners of English Life, Past and Present

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Custom Filters release announcement. Linked Related 1. Clay minerals have long been regarded as the most effective ice-nucleating particles. Atkinson et al.

On the Richter scale of interdisciplinarity, mineralogy and atmospheric physics are rather widely separated and, understandably, this shows in many of the subsequent papers. Elements readers know differently. Another common practice has been to use freshly crushed powders. We know that Zeus does not roam the Sahara crushing rocks with a giant pestle and mortar.

Nooks and corners of English life, past and present.

As my micrographs show, most rock degradation is passive. Of the numerous papers that have appeared since Atkinson et al. Harrison et al. Potassium feldspars are better than all the plagioclase feldspars they tried, with one inexplicable exception. A second paper, Whale et al. The worst ice nucleators were the most perfect crystals, including the sanidine from Eifel that is one of the most defect-free crystalline materials known.

And the best nucleator? Problem solved, you may think. Potassium feldspars with very complex surfaces are very efficient at nucleating ice. You would be wrong. The nucleation experiments on all three studies quoted here were done using freshly crushed particles, without the complexities shown in my figures.


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And the particles in natural atmospheric dust are very small, just a few micrometres in diameter. They would be a mixture of small fragments of those surfaces, not complex individuals with nooks and crannies.


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The solution to the atmospheric ice nucleation problem has to involve the use of natural dust particles with surfaces that have been characterised with great care, perhaps using transmission electron microscopy. Scanning electron microscope images of naturally weathered feldspar grains. A A natural cleavage surface of a perthitic orthoclase crystal at an early stage of weathering in a peat soil.

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The lamellae are sections through very flat lenses of albite. The black dots, many in pairs, are the outcrops of dislocation loops that go around the lenses, enormously enlarged by dissolution during weathering. A few thin lenses do not have dislocations because elastic strains can be accommodated without them. The slots are where albite has been dissolved, and the upstanding slices are the remaining orthoclase. Grooves in the surface of the slices mark the sites of the dislocation loops in 1A.

C More nook and cranny than feldspar.


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D Natural face of a deeply weathered alkali feldspar. A second crystal surface, , at the top right, has a coating of a clay mineral, which has formed spherical bodies. E Filaments from the biosphere exploring a two-phase feldspar. Sign In or Create an Account. User Tools. Sign In. Advanced Search.

Article Navigation. Research Article April 01, E-mail: ian. Google Scholar. Elements 15 2 : Figure 1. View large Download slide. Volume 15, Number 2. Previous Article. View Full GeoRef Record. The importance of feldspar for ice nucleation by mineral dust in mixed-phase clouds. Search ADS.