Posts

Monday News and Links

6a0105371bb32c970b017c376b7822970b-750wi

  • The above picture is courtesy of Earth Science Picture of the Day and it documents the phenomenal “ice balls” that accumulate on Lake Michigan’s shores when weather and water conditions are just right.  Be sure to read their description in the link, it’s fascinating.
  • Here’s another spectacular Lake Michigan photo from the same site.
  • If you want to learn more about soil then you ever thought there was to know, check out this Michigan State University site detailing the soils of the Great Lakes region.  Who would have thought the taxonomy of soil would be so strangely named… Incepticols, Udalfs, Psamments, Glossaqualfs??  (Sounds like warring tribes in a Dune novel.)
  • Last week Slate highlighted this curious map of Whole Foods and Wal-Mart locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, illustrating what one would assume is the stark economic disparity between the San Francisco Peninsula and the East Bay.
  • LBx Journal (“location in the language of business”) has a special section in their Winter 2013 issue devoted to women in the location industry.  Of the 18 women profiled, two are our very own: Celeste Fraser and Jillian Elder.  Nice work!

Speaking of ice formations…

check out the insane noises made by this shifting ice shelf in Odessa, Ukraine

 

Lake Michigan’s Ice Formations: Part 7

The following post is the latest installment of an ongoing series here at the Backyard Geographer documenting seasonal ice formations on Lake Michigan.  For previous coverage, see parts 1 and 2 from 2009-2011, and parts 3, 4, 5, and 6 from winter 2012-2013.

PART 7

The following series of pictures was taken on January 27, 2013.  The air temperature is in the high 20s after similar conditions yesterday.  Lake Michigan water temperature is about 37⁰F.

January 27, 2013, looking east along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

January 27, 2013, looking east along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

Even with air temperatures below freezing, water temperatures above freezing are winning the battle at the shoreline.  The impressive 12-foot tall ridge at the waterline only three days ago has melted back to leave these remnants stranded offshore by open water.

January 27, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park

January 27, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park

Signs of ice demise are everywhere.  The right side of this ice volcano is collapsing as relatively warm water melts the ice walls of the volcano’s plumbing system.  One slab has collapsed forming the window through which the lake can be seen.  The large block forming the ice bridge seems on the brink of collapse due to developing cracks.

Temperatures are forecast to reach well into the 50s in a few days.  Time will tell if any ice remain until the next cold snap predicted for later in the week.

Lake Michigan’s Ice Formations: Part 6

Over the next few days we’ll be posting installments of an ongoing series here at the Backyard Geographer documenting winter ice formation on Lake Michigan.  For previous coverage, see parts 1 and 2 from 2009-2011, and parts 3, 4, and 5 from winter 2012-2013.

PART 6

The following series of pictures was taken on January 24, 2013.  The air temperature on this morning was 10⁰F following several days of temperatures well below freezing.  Lake Michigan water temperature is still about 37⁰F.

January 24, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park

January 24, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park

Frigid air temperatures, an abundance of floating ice chunks and onshore winds has caused shore ice to grow rapidly.  The ice shelf now generally extends anywhere from about 100 to 200 feet from the shore.

January 24, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park (bike for scale)

January 24, 2013, looking northeast along lakeshore, Wilmette, Illinois, Langdon Park (bike for scale)

This extinct ice volcano (the same as in the last photo) rises about 5 feet above the general ice surface. The ridge at the water’s edge about 75 feet in the distance is close to 12 feet high.

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

In synchrony with the encroaching swells, this hole in the ice periodically…

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

…erupts with a surge of spray, slush and ice chunks reaching about 10 feet into the air.

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

January 24, 2013, looking east along north side of jetty, Wilmette, Illinois, Gillson Park

Between eruptions, the water/sand mixture darkening the surface drains away and a fresh supply of ice chunks freeze to the flanks of the volcano, causing it to grow up and out.

text and images by Steve Jansen