Dendritic crystals

From Glossary of Meteorology
Redirect page

Redirect to:

dendritic crystal

(Or dendrite.) A crystal, particularly a planar ice crystal, with its macroscopic form (crystal habit) characterized by intricate branching structures of a treelike nature.

Dendritic ice crystals possess hexagonal symmetry, and tend to develop when a crystal grows by vapor deposition at temperatures within a few degrees of -15°C, providing saturation is close to supercooled water. Similar forms occur by ice growth into supercooled liquid water at temperatures down to -10°C. Spatial dendrites grow in three dimensions from a central frozen drop.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.