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Thread: Thickness of ice

  1. #1 Thickness of ice 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Just wondering why ponds that have Ice build up do so. I was at a pond once and parts of it were thicker than other parts so how does that happen? Another question is how does the ice get so thick at times perhaps over 12 inches or more.


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Variable conditions: currents, circulation, biological activity, water depth, air flow,etc.As temperature stays low freezing will progress. Why wouldn't it?


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    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Is it easier for ice crystals to form around bits of debris (not sure what the word is, maybe something like "seeding"?) or does that not apply to ice?

    Perhaps those areas of the pond have more debris for ice crystals to form around, and then float up to the surface, making the surface ice in that region of the pond thicker than other parts?
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Couldn't residual snow insulate some parts of the ice, and not others, from the sun/heat?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Currents matter because moving water doesn't freeze as fast. Maybe it is because it is being mixed with the warmer water underneath it. Not sure why. I do know that any place water has a flow will freeze slower and will open sooner. A stream entering a lake can keep that part of the lake in front of it open even when the river and lake are both frozen over.
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  8. #7  
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    Learned slid control driving on frozen lakes and ponds from my dad in Maine. Two foot think ice it typical...some years it gets over 3 feet thick. Some lumber companies would pile up the summer harvest, wait for the ice to freeze, than fun fully laden lumber trucks across the ice in January and February.

    But to get to the question. The main reason why ice is thinner near the shore is due to reflected/enhanced wave action and the ice/water being warmed by penetrated sunlight off a shallow bottom. The ice is also thin (something many Mainer's learn early to survive), near sand bars and other shallow parts of the lake. Lastly compression ridges often happen near the shore, with open water leads forming and becoming refrozen.
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