ice crust[′īs ‚krəst]
a layer of ice on the surface of soil or snow cover; it forms under the influence of solar radiation, deep thaws followed by frosts, liquid precipitation, or a fog that settles during the cold season. An ice crust can damage or kill winter crops, perennial grasses, and other wintering plants and create unfavorable conditions for the pasturing of animals in regions of transhumance.
A distinction is made between ground ice crusts, in which the ice layer rests on the surface of the soil, and hanging ice crusts or frozen snow crusts, in which the ice layer is on the surface of the snow cover. Ground ice crust, which can be up to 15–20 cm thick, is the more dangerous for plants and animals. Wintering plants freeze into the ice and are killed by the low temperatures. The formation of ice around the tillering node also leads to mechanical injury in plants. Snow retention measures are carried out to prevent the harmful consequences of ice crust (under a layer of snow the crust is less dangerous for plants), or the crust is covered by humus, peat, ashes, or mineral fertilizers to accelerate melting.
A. V. PROTSEROV