Monday, February 21, 2011

Icebergs in Lake Michigan

Time to take a little break from all the writing-related stuff and take a look at something stunning. My friend Martin Ray sent these. They are icebergs formed in Lake Michigan this winter. In yesterday's #SampleSunday I included a sample from The Old Mermaid's Tale in which Sal, a former Great Lakes mariner, tells how he lost most of his fingers and toes in the Great Lakes during an ice storm. These pictures lend a lot of credibility to that tale! I remember walking across the harbor from downtown Erie to the Peninsula with my Uncle Buddy one time when I was a kid. I remember how deeply blue the ice was and how cold. Love the Great Lakes for their endless, strange mysteries.



Icebergs in Lake Michigan sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions. Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with melt water and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form. When an iceberg falls into the lake, a layer of water can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe. Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the lake.




 The water froze the instant the wave broke through the ice. That's what it is like in Lake Michigan where it is the coldest weather in decades. Water freezes the instant it comes in contact with the air... The temperature of the water is already some degrees below freezing.





Thanks for reading.

2 comments:

SK Waller said...

These are fabulous. I never knew anything like this existed. Thanks!

Jenn Sommersby said...

FANTASTIC! This is on Lake Michigan? Wow. Thanks for posting. Beautiful departure from the business of words. Lucky photographer...great shots.

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