Most Amazing Frozen Waves

Tuesday May 17, 2011 | 3:18 AM words: 302

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This isn’t really a wave. As the lake-ice begins to melt, it is pushed by the wind and the pressure of this can force a sheet of ice to rise up near the downwind shore. Once further melting occurs, the wave-like sheet of ice starts to droop and take on the appearance of a wave crashing to the shore. It really is a cool effect and the visuals are really powerful. I would estimate the highest point of the wave is past the 3 meter point.

Starkly beautiful wave-like ice formations like the ones they capture can indeed be found in parts of Antarctica. However, such formations are not created (as claimed in the text accompanying these images) by waves of water hitting frigid air and instantly freezing in place; they're typically formed over time from ice that has been compacted and uplifted by glaciation, then shaped through exposure to the elements: Most of these images in fact result from melting, not from freezing. Melting has produced the downward pointing spikes that look like a breaking wave ? they are simply icicles. Furthermore, the beautiful smoothly polished surfaces are again the result of melting; freshly frozen ice, especially ice that has frozen rapidly, is cloudy and opaque. The transparent ice in the photographs has been created in a glacier or ice cap by the slow annealing of ice as it is buried under each year's successive accumulation of snow.

 

 

  

  

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