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Frozen Waterfall

Melt the ice on the bottom; re-freeze water into additional layers of ice on top.
  [vote for,

This idea is for a waterfall sculpture in which the frozen water continues to "fall". A column of ice rests on a heating plate, such that the bottom is continuously melting. At the same time, melted water is pumped up and in equal proportion re-frozen to the top of the column. Heating at the bottom and freezing at the top could be adjusted to vary the rate at which the ice descends.

Objects could be embedded into the ice at the top for effect -- model ducks, white water rafters, etc.

The column would need to be braced so as to prevent slipping off of its heated base.

swimswim, Mar 27 2013


       I'm trying to think of a reason that this wouldn't work, but have so far been unable to do so.
angel, Mar 27 2013

       I'm trying to think of a reason that this would work, but have so far been unable to do so.   

       I suspect that despite any extremely localized zone temperature controls the whole thing would come crashing down periodically.
normzone, Mar 27 2013

       I think maybe if an unheated, insulated pipe made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene that came up through the middle to feed it, it would be stable, but that would probably detract from its appearance. The ice would ride down around the pipe.   

       Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene is really slick stuff, and I doubt the ice would stick to it much.
Kansan101, Mar 27 2013

       The support plate should consist of a segmented array of independently controlled heaters. Each segment is also a pressure sensing pad. The power delivered to each sensor is inversely proportional to the pressure on that pad.
pocmloc, Mar 27 2013

       The *ice* could just be made of plastic, so the rest is easy. (fake frozen waterfall)
xandram, Mar 27 2013

       One of the more interesting things about water and ice is the fact that it takes a large amount of energy to convert ice to water (and you have to remove it to convert water to ice), while most other substances don't require anywhere near so much energy to do the equivalent.   

       That amount of energy is called the "heat of fusion", where "fusion" is an old-fashioned word closely related to the word "flow". And there is one very important fact about the melting/freezing temperature, while melting or freezing happens: The Temperature Does Not Change.   

       So ice and water can completely peacefully coexist at 0 degrees Centigrade. If you add energy to the mixture, some of the ice melts, but the temperature does not change; if you remove some energy from the mixture, some water freezes, but the temperature does not change.   

       As a result, some form of this Idea should be possible. The main problem I see has to do with erosion of solid ice caused by flowing water. A transparent plastic tube might be completely adequate to prevent that, while water is pumped from the base of this construct to its top.
Vernon, Mar 27 2013

       Just saw bits off the bottom and use a hairdryer to melt their surfaces to stick them back onto the top?
not_morrison_rm, Mar 27 2013

       Stabalize it with a chain embeded through he center of the ice. The chain would go thorugh a hole in the hot plate, then around some pulleys to get back up to the top
scad mientist, Mar 28 2013

       Seeing as water is magnetic, just some huge magnets. Self-financing as it would pinch all the small change out of visitor's pockets.
not_morrison_rm, Mar 28 2013

       You're basically re-inventing the glacier; so you might as well move the water from the bottom back to the top in the form of snow.   

       If you're going to abrade the bottom, though, you'd have to find some way to extract the duckies & kayakers as moraines rather than grind & recycle.
lurch, Mar 28 2013

       perhaps it could also as a display of other functions, the Dow Jones, the current North Korean spiral (some kind of theme park?), the number of hours of actual sunshine in the UK this millennium etc...
not_morrison_rm, Mar 29 2013

       Along those lines, [nmr], if the ice column rested on a large screw with a heated tip, the column would rotate as it melted. With properly spaced digits or symbols inscribed around the column, and with the descent of the column accordingly calibrated, it could be a clock.
swimswim, Mar 29 2013


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