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Phenom: Candle ice

One thing I’ll be exploring on this blog is the amazing range of ice types and ice phenomena that exist, both naturally and in manufactured forms.

This week I’ve been fascinated by seeing candle ice for the first time, though I’m pretty sure I heard plenty of it tinkling past on the Red River the year I lived in Winnipeg.

Candle ice is one form of “ice rot” that occurs during spring break-up on rivers and lakes (freshwater). Large chunks break up into vertical fissured slices which are fragile enough to be pulled apart by hand. The chandelier-like strands of ice make a wonderful tinkling sound as they crumble.

The shoreline of the Yukon River by Dawson City is littered with chunks of ice-floe, also known as ice jumble. About half of them (by a rough walk-by count) seem to be candled ice.

Steven A. Spano
 

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