from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The name given by Nordenskjöld to a gray powder noticed by him in various places in Greenland on the surface of the inland ice, at a great distance from earth or rock, and which he considered to be of cosmic (meteoric) origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun geology brown silt that consists of airborne volcanic sediment or soot particles from artificial pollutants, and water from ablation of ice sheets


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The initial focus of the melting is a strange phenomenon called cryoconite.

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  • From the cryoconite holes, the surface water drains through a network of much larger sinkholes and crevasses on the ice sheet.

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  • Cryobiosis, the ability to withstand freezing, allows tardigrades to inhabit cryoconite holes.

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  • The cryoconite hole may freeze up again when the winter comes, of course, but its inhabitants can wait in the ice for the sun to come again.

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