Friday Fotos: Mysterious Ice Circles

Ice CirclesLast month we did a Friday Foto post about a magical frozen bubble lake and while researching it, we stumbled upon another type of mysterious frozen beauty called ice circles.

According to Wikipedia, an ice circle, ice disc or ice pan is a natural phenomenon that occurs in slow moving water in cold climates. Ice circles and discs have most frequently been observed in Scandinavia and North America, but they are occasionally recorded as far south as England and Wales.

Ice circles are thin and circular slabs of ice that rotate slowly in the water. It is believed that they form in eddy currents and they vary in size with some reported to be more than 4 metres (13 ft) in diameter.

Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a circle.

Ice pans are surface slabs of ice that form in the center of a lake or creek, instead of along the water’s edge, according to river specialist and geography professor Joe Desloges. As water cools, it releases heat that turns into frazil ice — a collection of loose, randomly oriented needle-shaped ice crystals that can cluster together into a pan-shaped formation.

There are many gorgeous photos and videos about ice circles online and below are some of our faves…

photo of ice circles by Gary Lane - Wapiti River Guides

ice circle

ice circle in river

Sheridan Creek, Rattray Marsh in Ontario, Canada (Source)

view of ice circle in Russia's Lake Baikal from ISS

Lake Baikal in Russia (Spotted by ISS astronauts)

ice circles in Russia

 Russia (Source)

See more cool ice circle photos and watch a short video on FeedFury.com … and have a great weekend everyone! 🙂 j & B

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