Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jamming Ice

The ice is finally moving out of the rivers and I'm lucky enough to get paid to watch it move.  Have you ever watched ice flows move down a river.  It is a bit of a humbling experience.  We have all likely seen a flooded river carrying debris down stream in a rushing torrent and that in itself is very impressive.  Ice flows move differently.  There is a slow motion effect to the movement and the torrent is hidden under the ice cover.  The biggest indication of the power of the ice is the sounds being created.  The loud pops, cracks, and crunches are signs that the river is powerfully tearing apart large ice sheets and moving debris downstream.  I took a short video recently and thought I'd share it here.  I'm no photographer and by an even farther stretch, no videographer but it still shows the power of nature.

This jam didn't result in any damage and I have seen bigger jams but I felt safe enough next to this one that I could take the video.  Things can change quickly in a jam and where one minute there was water flowing through a hole, the next it is clogged with ice, and then water backs up and a head is created.  If you are observing ice flows do so with caution and preferably from a distance.

Just as a note on the video, what caught my attention first was the fact that there was a tire floating on an ice sheet.  I observed the flow for about 15 minutes and the tire remained on the ice for the entire time.  No doubt it will end up in the Bay of Fundy.

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