Ice forming on Kiel fjord

One thing I really like is watching ice form. Well, maybe not watching the actual freezing (don’t have the attention span for that) but looking at all the different stages.

At first, you have all the small, individual needles that still slush around.

Then, the needles start sticking together, and if there is a little wave action, the ice breaks apart into individual pancakes, which bump into each other and start piling up along the edges.

If the wave action isn’t too bad, those pancakes can freeze together, forming a closed ice cover.

Sometimes you can also see several stages at once, like in the picture below: Open water out on the fjord, slush a little further in, then smaller pancakes and then larger pancakes. Not very surprising: Most wave action in the middle of the fjord, and the further you get towards the shore, the more waves have been dampened by the ice, so the larger the ice floes can grow.

Here you can actually see waves going through the ice-covered area, giving you an idea of how flexible the pancakes still are. More on that in the next post… ;-)

Here you see all the stages in one pic again. Together with the raising sun it makes for very pretty pictures! :-)

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  1. Pingback: Ice and waves | Mirjam S. Glessmer

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