It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Since ice expands as it freezes, the ice freezing below the surface starts to push water up through the hole in the surface ice (see diagram). If the conditions are just right, then water will be forced out of the hole in the ice and it will freeze into an ice spike, a bit like lava pouring out of a hole in the ground to makes a volcano. But water does not flow down the sides of a thin spike, so in that way it is different from a volcano. Rather, the water freezes around the rim of the tube, and thus adds to its length. The spike can continue growing taller until all the water freezes, cutting off the supply, or until the tube freezes shut. The tallest spike we've seen growing in an ordinary ice cube tray was 56mm (2.2in) long.
I have some ideas about why distilled water might make ice spikes more readily than tap water, but so far I cannot explain why some tap waters make copious ice spikes. We measured the probability of ice spike formation as a function of salt (NaCl) concentration in distilled water, at a fixed temperature of -7C, which is shown in the graph at right. Very little salt is needed to kill the ice spikes. All tap waters contain relatively high concentrations of various mineral salts, so apparently different impurities have different effects on ice spike formation.
when i see my ice trays like that, i just close the door and give them some privacy.