Friday, April 17, 2009

So Where Does The Ice Go?

For the past week the ice on my local lake has been looking more and more rotten. Next it broke into huge rafts which the wind began blowing back and forth. The rafts would push up against each other and up the beaches and wharves. When I went for my first paddle on the lake yesterday, almost all the ice rafts had suddenly disappeared. Where did it go?

Well some of it is still floating on the lake. In the above photo, you can see the ice as a thin white line on the water horizon (click on the photo to enlarge it). This last piece still stretches from shore to shore. One of the first sections of the lake to freeze last fall, it must be thicker and will be the last to go.

Some of the remaining ice is piled on the shore where it got pushed during the past few days. I can only assume that the rest simply melted. When you think of the tremendous amount of energy required to melt ice, it is one of Nature's little miracles that enough heat energy is available each spring to get the job done!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have watched the same phenomenon in Temgami on the lakes---lake is frozen over at night and there's no ice in sight in the morning (not even on shore). Locals have told us that it sinks, but that defies science then again, maybe they're having us on! Has anyone ever heard this explanation before?