3-D imaging and quantification of graupel porosity by synchrotron-based micro-tomography
Abstract. The air bubble structure is an important parameter to determine the radiation properties of graupel and hailstones. For 3-D imaging of this structure at micron resolution, a cryo-stage was developed. This stage was used at the tomography beamline of the Swiss Light Source (SLS) synchrotron facility. The cryo-stage setup provides for the first time 3-D-data on the individual pore morphology of ice particles down to infrared wavelength resolution. In the present study, both sub-mm size natural and artificial ice particles rimed in a wind tunnel were investigated. In the natural rimed ice particles, Y-shaped air-filled closed pores were found. When kept for half an hour at −8 °C, this morphology transformed into smaller and more rounded voids well known from literature. Therefore, these round structures seem to represent an artificial rather than in situ pore structure, in contrast to the observed y-shaped structures found in the natural ice particles. Hence, for morphological studies on natural ice samples, special care must be taken to minimize any thermal cycling between sampling and measurement, with least artifact production at liquid nitrogen temperatures.