Sunday, February 08, 2015

The power of frozen water

I had the opportunity to drive to Brainerd, MN for a fascinating meeting on the progress of research on our "Sentinel Lakes". The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with the MN Pollution Control Agency and the US Geological Service, among others, have partnered to do unprecedented intensive research on selected lakes across the state, to quantify the effects of land use and climate change. It's really amazing, and too much for this post, to summarize the work that has been done on these lakes, and the implications. I am proud to have been a part of this project since the beginning.

I always like to take the scenic route when I have the time. So on Wednesday, after the meeting ended at noon I took the northern route around Mille Lacs, instead of the southern/casino/bigger traffic route. This pressure ridge was present along the entire northeast side of the lake. Pressure ridges are formed when the volume of ice formed is constrained by the physical form, of the lake. Ice expands, when there is nowhere for it to go, this happens. And it is beautiful.

In the words of Eric Krenz, one of my favorite blogging friends, "That would have been one of Earth's ~greatest~sounds." I agree.


Pablo said...

Thanks for taking the scenic route and stopping to take that picture.

northierthanthou said...

Pressure ridges are cool. Up here, I never know what the ocean will look like. I come out and there will be a great big ridge-line. Then another, and so on. Once the ocean pushed up great chunks of ice to 12 feet or so all along the coast. I'm told that to be out on the ice when it breaks, the sound is like canons firing.