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Colourless to white, ...
From Old English is, from Proto-Germanic *isa-.
Stable as a solid under 0°C (at standard atmospheric pressure). There are many different structural varieties of ice, although the standard form found on earth is Ih (hexagonal ice) as described here.

It is now confirmed that water ice is also extraterrestrial, occurring on the Moon, Mars and (most likely) Mercury. Long suggested to occur in the coments, it was spotted on the surface of the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet.

Classification of Ice

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
A : Metal: Oxygen = 2:1 and 1:1
A : Cation:Anion (M:O) = 2:1 (and 1.8:1)

1 : A2X

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
1 : Oxides of hydrogen URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Physical Properties of Ice

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless to white, pale blue to greenish blue in thick layers
Hardness (Mohs):
Hardness Data:
Translation gliding:
0.9167 g/cm3 (Measured)    0.93 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Ice

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.498Å, c = 7.338Å
a:c = 1 : 1.631
Unit Cell Volume:
V 128.57 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Usualy as snow crystals, in complex six-rayed stellate forms of great variety, flattened {0001}. Delicate skeletal forms or hopper-shaped prisms as hoar frost. Lathlike crystals, greatly elongated at times, by crystallization on the surface of water.
Twin plane (α): {0001}, and (b): {0001¯}.

Optical Data of Ice

Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.309 nε = 1.311
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.001
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of Ice

All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Ice to other Species

Other Names for Ice

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Health Risks:

References for Ice

Reference List:
Kepler, J. (1611) Strena seu de nive sexangula. ["New Year's gift or about the hexangular snow", in Latin, probably the first description of the hexagonal symmetry of snow crystals]

Hellmann, G. (1893) Schneekrystalle. Verlag von Rudolf Mückenberger, Berlin, 66 pp. []

Dobrowolski (1916) Ark. Kemi: 6(7).

Mügge (1918) Centralblatt für Mineralogie: 187.

Adams (1930) Royal Society of London, Proceedings: 128: 588.

Bernal, J.D., Fowler, R.H. (1933) A theory of water and ionic solution, with particular reference to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions. Journal of Chemical Physics: 1(8): 515-548.

Blackwelder, E. (1939) The hardness of ice. American Journal of Science: 238: 61-62.

Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 494-498.

Hall, D., Wood, M.K. (1985) A molecular-packing analysis of the crystal structures of ice. Acta Crystallographica: 41: 169-172.

Aoki, K., Yamawaki, H., Sakashita, M., Fujihisa, S. (1996) Infrared absorption study of the hydrogen-bond symmetrization in ice to 110 GPa. Physical Review B: 54: 15673-15677.

Goncharov, A.F., Struzhkin, V.V., Somayazulu, M.S., Hemley, R.J., Mao, H.K. (1996) Compression of ice to 210 gigapascals: Infrared evidence for s symmetric hydrogen-bonded phase. Science: 273-218-220.

Wolanin, E., Pruzan, P., Chervin, J.C., Canny, B., Gauthier, M., Hausermann, D., Hanfland, M. (1997) Equation of state of ice VII up to 106GPa. Physical Review B: 56: 5781-5785.,8599,1939473,00.html (2016) (2016)

Cabot, N.L., Ernst, C.M., Denevi, B.W., Nair, H., Deutsch, A.N., Blewett, D.T., Murchie, S.L., Neumann, G.A., Mazarico, E., Paige, D.A., Harmon, J.K., Head, J.W., Solomon, S.C. (2014): Images of surface volatiles in Mercury's polar craters acquired by the MESSENGER spacecraft. Geology: 42(12): 1051-1054;

Filacchione, G., De Sanctis, M.C., Capaccioni, F., Raponi, A., Tosi, F., Ciarniello, M., Cerroni, P., Piccioni, G., Capria, M.T., Palomba, E., Bellucci, G., Erard, S., Bockelee-Morvan, D., Leyrat, C., Arnold, G., Barucci, M.A., Fulchignoni, M., Schmitt, B., Quirico, E., Jaumann, R., Stephan, K., Longobardo, A., Mennella, V., Migliorini, A., Ammannito, A., Benkhoff, J., Bibring, J.P., Blanco, A., Blecka, M.I., Carlson, R., Carsenty, U., Colangeli, L., Combes, M., Combi, M., Crovisier, J., Drossart, P., Encrenaz, T., Federico, C., Fink, U., Fonti, S., Irwin, W.H.Ip.P., Kuehrt, E., Langevin, Y., Magni, G., McCord, T., Moroz, L., Mottola, S., Orofino, V., Schade, U., Taylor, F., Tiphene, D., Tozzi, G.P., Beck, P., Biver, N., Bonal, L., Combe, J.-Ph., Despan, D., Flamini, E., Formisano, M., Fornasier, S., Frigeri, A., Grassi, D., Gudipati, M.S., Kappel, D., Mancarella, F., Markus, K., Merlin, F., Orosei, R., Rinaldi, G., Cartacci, M., Cicchetti, A., Giuppi, S., Hello, Y., Henry, F., Jacquinod, S., Reess, J.M., Noschese, R., Politi, R., Peter, G. (2016): Exposed water ice on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Nature: 529: 368-372; doi:10.1038/nature16190

Internet Links for Ice

Localities for Ice

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
  • Carinthia
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
    • Karawanken
      • Hochobir
G. Niedermayr, I. Praetzel: Mineralien Kärntens, 1995
  • Salzburg
    • Golling
      • Tennen Mts
A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs, 1989
    • Salzburg
      • Untersberg massif
A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs (1989)
    • Werfen
      • Blühnbach valley
A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs, 1989
      • Tennen Mts
        • Eiskogel
A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs, 1989
        • Tenneck
A. Strasser: Die Minerale Salzburgs, 1989
  • Upper Austria
    • Gmunden
      • Hallstatt
        • Obertraun
  • Luxembourg Province
    • Neufchâteau
  • Nunavut Territory
    • Baffin Island
      • Nanisivik
Gait, R.I., Robinson, G.W., Bailey, K., Dumka, D. (1990) Minerals of the Nanasivik Mine, Baffin Island, North West Territories. Mineralogical Record, 21 (6), 515-534. Ice is photoed and mentioned in this reference on pg 519, 522, and 524
Sébastien Goulet; ;
  • Yukon
    • Mayo Mining District
      • Galena Hill
        • Elsa
Boyle, R.W., (1961) Native Zinc at Keno Hill, Can Min vol 6, pp 692-694
      • Keno Hill
[MinRec 22:386]; Boyle, R.W. (1965) Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the lead-zinc-silver deposits of the Keno Hill-Galena Hill area, Yukon Territory. Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 111, 310 p.
      • Sourdough Hill
Literature references cited
  • Southern Finland Region
    • Helsinki
  • Bavaria
    • Upper Bavaria
      • Bad Reichenhall
        • Berchtesgaden
          • Marktschellenberg
  • Liguria
    • La Spezia Province
      • Rocchetta Vara
Flavio G. Taricco
  • Utopia Planitia
NASA photo
  • Sogn og Fjordane
    • Luster
      • Jostedalsbreen
Neumann, H. (1985): Norges Mineraler. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse Skrifter 68, p.52
Outer Space
  • Main Belt Asteroids
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia)
      • Aldan Shield
        • Aldan
          • Ryabinovskoe Cu-Au deposit
Pavel M. Kartashov data (2012)
  • Far-Eastern Region
    • Kamchatka Oblast'
  • Banská Bystrica Region
    • Banská Štiavnica Co.
albert russ
albert russ
    • Žarnovica Co.
albert russ
C. Menor-Salvan
  • Kilimanjaro Region
Science 18 October 2002: Vol. 298. no. 5593, pp. 548 - 549
The Moon
  • Alaska
    • Valdez-Cordova Borough
      • Nizina District
Rocks & Minerals 81:296-300
  • California
    • Los Angeles Co.
Fred & Linda Elsnau.
    • Modoc Co.
      • Cascade Range
Swartzlow, Carl Robert (1935), Ice caves in northern California: Journal of Geology: 43: 440-442; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 383.
    • Siskiyou Co.
      • Cascade Range
Swartzlow, Carl Robert (1935), Ice caves in northern California: Journal of Geology: 43: 440-442; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 383.
  • Colorado
    • Eagle Co.
      • Fulford District
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckels, E. B.
    • El Paso Co.
      • Manitou District
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckels, E. B.
    • Gunnison Co.
      • Dorchester District
        • Taylor Park
[MinRec 15:86]
    • Park Co.
      • Horseshoe Basin District
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckels, E. B.
  • Maine
    • Oxford Co.
      • Greenwood
King, Vandall T. and Foord, Eugene E. (1994) Mineralogy of Maine, Descriptive Mineralogy, volume 1, Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, Maine, p. 198.
      • Riley
King, Vandall T. and Foord, Eugene E. (1994) Mineralogy of Maine, Descriptive Mineralogy, volume 1, Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, Maine, p. 198.
    • Sagadahoc Co.
Clifford Trebilcock
  • Nevada
    • White Pine Co.
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
  • New Hampshire
    • Grafton Co.
      • Groton
Nashua Min. Soc. Disp. Cat., 1995
  • New Mexico
    • Cibola Co.
Minerals of New Mexico 3rd ed.
    • Colfax Co.
Minerals of New Mexico 3rd ed.
Leonard S.Wiener and Sigrid Ballew,1995, Updated by Kenny Gay,2006, A Listing Of North Carolina Minerals,Geologic Note No.4
  • North Dakota
    • Cass Co.
[var: Snow] [Fargo - the Movie - Coen Brothers 1996]
  • Pennsylvania
    • Potter Co.
      • Coudersport
        • Ice Mountain
Ref.1) Potter County Historical Society QUARTERLY BULLETIN # 83 January 1987
  • South Dakota
    • Custer Co.
    • Meade Co.
SDSMT Bull 18 Roberts and Rapp "Mineralogy of the Black Hills"
    • Pennington Co.
SDSMT Bull 18 Roberts and Rapp "Mineralogy of the Black Hills"
  • West Virginia
    • Raleigh Co.
      • New River Gorge
Franco Urbani (2009) Venezuelan Cave Minerals: Second Review. Mineralogy 1 2009 ICS Proceedings. In 15th International Congress of Speleology. p 345
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