How does a waterfall freeze? © Getty Images

How does a waterfall freeze?

When water falls so fast, have you ever wondered how it finds the time to turn to ice?

Asked by: Tina Hanson, Littlehampton

Advertisement

Water turns to ice when its molecules move slowly enough to form rigid bonds. Normally, the molecules in the waterfall move under the influence of both the flow and thermal agitation. But if it gets cold enough, the heat effect becomes so low that not even the waterfall’s motion can stop ice forming, gradually at first but then ever more rapidly.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.