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Universality in snowflake aggregation

By C. D. Westbrook, Robin Ball, P. R. Field and Andrew J. Heymsfield


Aggregation of ice crystals is a key process governing precipitation. Individual ice crystals exhibit considerable diversity of shape, and a wide range of physical processes could influence their aggregation; despite this we show that a simple computer model captures key features of aggregate shape and size distribution reported recently from cirrus clouds. The results prompt a new way to plot the experimental size distributions leading to remarkably good dynamical scaling. That scaling independently confirms that there is a single dominant aggregation mechanism at play, albeit our model (based on undeflected trajectories to contact) does not capture its form exactly

Topics: QC, QD
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3873

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