Monday, March 15, 2010

Ice Quake Update

I've told you several times in the past about a strange phenomena of nature I call an ice quake. I've been waiting until right at this time of year when winter turns into spring so I can get a good sound recording of the ice quake so I can share it with all of you. Well, I have some good news, and I have some bad news.

First I'm going to give you the bad news. It seems the phenomena known as an ice quake just doesn't happen every year. This year the ice has been melting in such a way that it all turned into slush before we could get the violent cracking that creates an ice quake. You can see in the picture that the ice is already melting fast.

With recent rain we've had for the past few days, I'm guessing that the ice is melted even further, and there just won't be enough ice for an ice quake this year. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am by this turn of events. I was really looking forward to showing you and letting you hear something very special. But don't worry. All is not lost!

At the beginning of winter there was a small version of an ice quake! I didn't share it with you at the time because it wasn't the big quake that I was waiting for. Plus I was saving it as a backup just in case the unthinkable happened, which it did. So for this episode of Rat TV I have a small ice quake for you!

There aren't any impressive visuals in this one, but the sound of the quake is there. Listen closely at 2, 9, and 21 seconds into the video, and you will hear the cracking sounds of the ice. They were hard to pick up that day because there was a plane passing by overhead, but they are clearly audible. There are other smaller cracking sounds in between if you listen very closely.

So even though there was no big ice quake, there was at least this small one last December. And just because I didn't get one here doesn't mean you won't get one where you live. Also I'm not the only one to have ever experienced one of the ice quakes. The Retired One, after reading my original story from almost exactly a year ago, went down to her lake and got to experience her very own ice quake. You can do it too.

This is another look at the lake from the last time I was out there. Since it's been raining for the past few days, I've chosen to take my adventuring elsewhere. I will hike in the snow, I will hike in the mud, I will hike in most different conditions, but I will not hike in a heavy rain or temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. I don't want to get myself or my camera wet, and dangerously cold temperatures aren't for me either.

So I'll be going out to the same place as soon as I can today to check the condition of the lake. I'm sure there will still be ice, but the rain will have melted it away even more than it is now. No ice quake this year. But I urge you to go back and look at my post from a year ago to read about my description of the ice quake from back then. This could very well be the last true winter post I'll have for you this year. It's gone. All gone...

"Ice Quake" - from March 17, 2009


  1. What a weird sound! Maybe next year they'll be a nice, big ice quake just for you (and then us :o)

  2. That was interesting to hear and see from your video. We had a mild winter though..

  3. Wow, it is a good thing you don't live around here. Most of the winter is well below 15 degrees Farenheit.

    As we all know water expands when it freezes. The cracking sound in the winter is created when the expanding ice pushes against the shore and the ice has no place to go so it cracks-making a very long loud sound that makes the inexperienced ice dwellers very nervous. In spring, and I am just guessing here, similar sounds could be caused by the thawing of the ice and the ice breaking apart-especially if it is a fast thaw.


  4. Thanks for sahring Ratty...not something I've ever seen or heard for real so nice to see it on your blog...still looking forward to those green pics though!!

  5. I do not know whether I can simulate an ice quake in my fridge.

    Have to try it out..

  6. Pretty cool! I'll be very surprised if we don't get one more dose of winter here. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about hanging clothes outside today!

  7. I remember your post from last year when you described the ice quake. Even though this wasn't the big one it was pretty cool to hear that. Maybe next year you'll get the big one.

  8. Thanks for the shout out in your blog, Ratty....I did hear it last year and we still have ice on our I hope I can hear it too...usually there has to be at least a slight breeze too, I think....I will let you know if I am lucky enough to see/hear it again.....
    your video was so neat! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  9. I'm not sure I like ice quakes, but they are definitely not as scary as the earthquakes we get here in California!

  10. Indeed weird sound! Glad to see Spring finally came to your place Ratty :)

  11. I remember that sound when I lived up north. It sounds like rice crispies. lol