Evaporatively controlled growth of salt trees

Rose Du, H. A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


During the latter stages of the evaporation of ammonium chloride solutions, highly ramified salt structures, centimeters in height, are formed. In contrast with many, if not all, of the commonly discussed branched solidified object (e.g., dendrites or diffusion-limited aggregation clusters), the porous nature of the salt trees leads to growth in a direction away from the material source owing to a coupling between capillarity and evaporation. A physical mechanism for the phenomenon is reported, growth as a function of external convection is studied and demonstrates growth directed opposite the convective flow, and a method for determining a fractal dimension of the three-dimensional trees is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1994-1997
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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