Friday, April 19, 2013

Springtime in Colorado and Ice Formation

We're on the road today, so I may not get the chance to do a full post.  Elaine mentioned the other day that it had been awhile since I'd put any pictures up here, so for today's short, but hopefully pretty and interesting post, here are the lake ice formations from Lefthand Reservoir near Ward, CO.  These are springtime pictures taken in March of 2010 and the lake ice was at least a foot thick.  Towards  the end, you'll find a video of Maya the swimming super dog as a sweetener!  Don't worry, she's not swimming in the ice water, she's in Long Island Sound near Sound Beach, NY, a mere four miles from Wardenclyffe and ten or so miles form Brookhaven National Laboratory.

First, the setting.  Here's a topo map of the lake.  It sits at an altitude of about 10,600 feet roughly, 40 miles outside of Boulder, CO and immediately outside of Ward, CO.

View Larger Map

The lake itself and it's surroundings are gorgeous.  Here's a little sample.

Now for the somewhat sciencey stuff.  The last time we were up there, we found two points in the ice where holes had been made and then refrozen.  In the first hole, there were what I believe were ice crystals that had formed.  You can actually see several inches down the crystal into the lake!  In the second hole there were a series of small bubbles frozen inside.  Here's are a few pictures.  A few videos that let you get a little side to side perspective on the geometry follow.  Does anyone have any insight into how these kinds of features are formed?

Ice Crystals
Ice Bubbles
Ice Bubbles with Knife for Scale
Ice Crystal Movie

Ice Bubble Movie

Maya the Super Duck Dog!

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