Brinicle facts for kids
A brinicle is a column of ice that forms in seawater. The name is a combination of the words "brine", which means saltwater, and "icicle". A brinicle starts forming from the top of the water down. A brinicle freezes everything in its way as it forms. It can reach the bottom of the ocean, where it can also form ice on the seabed. It is dangerous to sea stars and sea urchins living on the bottom of the ocean. They move too slowly to get out of the way. They are very rare and only occur in places where it is very cold, such as Antarctica.
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Brinicle formation; (1) when water freezes, most impurities are repelled from water crystals, sea ice is very porous, cavities between ice contain brine and saline water, (2) the surrounding water becomes more saline as concentrated brine leaks out. (3) Brine-rich water remains liquid, with the increase in density causes this amount of water to sink. Setting for the creation of a "brinicle". (4) Its outer edges begin accumulating a layer of ice as the surrounding water, cooled by this jet to below its freezing point, ices up as a tubular or finger shape and becomes self-sustaining. (5) The down-flowing cold jet continues to grow longer downward, and reach the seafloor. (6) It will continue to accumulate ice as surrounding water freezes. The brine will travel along the seafloor in a down-slope direction.
Brinicle Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.