The surface morphology of crystals melting under solutions of different densities

Document Type


Publication Date



Examples of solids melting beneath liquids are described for cases where the bulk liquid volume is stabilized against convection by a positive vertical temperature gradient, either with, or without local density inversion at the melting interface. The examples include ice melting beneath brine or methanol solutions and tin or lead melting under molten Sn-20w%Pb or Pb-20wt%Sn respectively. Without density inversion the melting is slow, purely diffusion controlled and the interfaces are smooth; with convection assisted melting the rate increases by some two orders of magnitude and the interfaces develop a rough profile - in the case of ice both irregular and quasi-steady state features are observed. The observations are discussed in terms of prevailing temperature and concentration gradients. © 1988.

Publication Title

Journal of Crystal Growth