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Thread: Ice "tsunami" creeps ashore at Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota

  1. #1 Ice "tsunami" creeps ashore at Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota 
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    In all my life, I have never heard of the environmental phenomena of the wind driving ice sheets ashore, especially in May! It's not even windy where these people are. The ice sheet, which seem rather porous, pulses forward, creating odd sounds. I would think that the friction involved (both internally and with the ground) would be rather high. I would never have imagined this. It looks like something out of a cheap horror film ... like a bizarre, frozen tsunami. I first came across this on the BBC news website. This happened Saturday 11 May.

    Is anyone familiar with this? How common is it? How can the forces be transmitted through the ice sheet?


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  3. #2  
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    Remarkable! Never seen or read about this before.


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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Mother nature can sometimes be...er... cold.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    You know it reminds me allot of a mini glacier. Even the cleavage that is heard sounds similar to a glacier moving forward.
    Last edited by cosmictraveler; May 13th, 2013 at 07:41 AM.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says about 10 miles of shoreline are covered, with some reaching up to 30 feet high.

    Mille-Lacs-Ice.jpg
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    I grew up along the chain of lakes connected to the fox river.
    When the weather conditions were right, the ice would form long verticle crystals and begin to break up into flows. Then, if we had a sunny warm day with strong south winds, the ice flows would speed across the lake and crash into the north shore. As they crashed ashore, quite often, they would explode into the air by 5 meters and more. Twice, I had the wondrous experience of standing on that shore and being surrounded by hundreds of ice prisms showering me in they're myriad rainbows and tinkling sound..... then another crash and shower of rainbows. Once I'd experienced this wonder, i watched the ice and weather looking for a ticket to a repeat performance, and found one during my senior year at highschool. So, I ditched the classrooms for some real cool schooling in appreciation of beauty.

    Some memories you carry for your whole life, and it's pleasant to have some real fine ones. Thanx fer the mnemonic.

    Last edited by sculptor; May 14th, 2013 at 08:45 AM.
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    One of the coolest things I've seen recently. Thanks for sharing that.

    I must admit, though, that I found it astonishing that the people in that video didn't understand that something powerful enough to move what I can only imagine to be several tons of ice could also push in a screen door...
    Neverfly likes this.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    In regards to the OP, it also happened in Alberta and Dauphin, MB. I'd bet something like this happens somewhere every year. It kind of reminds me of an Ice Floe of sorts. I think that something like this is fairly common - and that this particular episode was unusually severe.
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