Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Broken Lake


This is what I was greeted with when I went down to the fishing platform at Carpenter Lake the day after all the snow melted. A broken and battered sheet of surface ice. We have a new, even thicker, layer of snow now that I'm going to be showing you soon, but first I wanted to show you what a warm up and a thaw can cause.

I've shown you in days past how this lake so quickly froze solid. Now, just as quickly, it is breaking up. I really wonder what it must have been like when these cracks happened, and when the ice began to shift and shake. I know now that the experience is very similar to being in an earthquake. Go here for my description of what an ice quake can be like.


As you can see by the photo above, this ice must be at least three inches/eight centimeters thick. That had to be an awesome force that drove this ice sheet up and over the one next to it. Just think of the incredible cracking sound that must have accompanied it. Along with both sight and sound must have come a huge vibration that shook the surrounding area.

I know this all happens. I've seen, heard, and felt it myself. I do have a recording of the sound of the ice breaking, but it's not a very good one. I got it on a day when the ice was still forming and the lake was pulling at it. I think I'll wait to bring sounds like this to you until next spring when the real action happens.


I have one final look of this big crack in the ice for you. It's very similar to the first one, but it's a bit closer. I wanted to cover all bases for you; well, at least as much as I could. I guess sometimes there's no substitute for being there, but I'm going to work on bringing you the closest experience I can by the time we get the really good ice quakes next spring.

Notice on the right of the picture the ice is shinier, more liquid in appearance. That is evidence of the thaw it went through. It is now in the process of refreezing. The next time I came out here the ice was once again covered in a layer of snow. These cracks now cannot be seen.

Until next time...

16 comments:

  1. Very interesting, Ratty. The ice appears quite thick but I can see why it can be dangerous. This clearly is thawing but, on a lake that appears frozen, someone could fall through.

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  2. Interesting and weird!!! A lake is broken. How a person form a tropical country can imagine?

    But it is true. Alice should have a lot of fun by then.

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  3. I'd love to see something similar here. I wonder how thick the ice has to be before it's safe to skate on?

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  4. I saw in the movie before that once someone fell inside the frozen lake, the ice just reconnected again and leaving that poor soul trapped under the chilling coffin...

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  5. Very impressive photos..living where I do I have to imagine what you are talking about as I have no big lakes near by which could freeze like this...really hope you get something for us to watch and listen to in the spring!!

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  6. i always am afraid to step on frozen lake, even though when I was still living in CT they told me it is safe since some are even ice fishing, but it just scares me more than the heights. what scares me is the thought that ice will crack and swallow me :( interesting pictures you got here, like earth quake, the ice quake also has plates :)

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  7. Interesting post, Ratty! The ice looks thick enough for standing on, but like betchai, I'm scare to even be near it!

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  8. Wow! That is some thick ice. We don't get ice like that in Georgia :) Wonderful pictures, Ratty!

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  10. Very interesting. I had never heard of an ice quake before but I can see how that would hold true. Good thing you weren't standing on that ice when it started cracking.

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  11. Ratty, that looks way too dangerous for my liking.

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  12. Ratty- That seems really odd to me how it broke into those big sheets. This was very interesting.

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  13. That's sort of creepy/cool. It's pretty to look at, but I'll bet it is scary to see when it is cracking and moving. What causes it to move on a lake or pond? I know rivers do that, but I didn't think a pond would.

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  14. I will have to get out to the Lake Superior shore and take some of the huge ice shelves that get pushed up there each winter, that is a great idea for more photos for me to take..I love the action of the ice and remember your blogpost about it.

    Please stop by my blog today (12/30).I have something there I think you would like to participate in (starting in January). Many of the themes coming up will fit in well with your wonderful photos.
    And, if any of your readers love to take photos, they need to stop by my blog (http://myretirementchronicles.blogpost.com) and consider participating too. It will be such fun!

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  15. These are incredible photos. Can't wait to see the rest. Happy New Year!

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