Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lake Michigan Ice Balls Recurrence

The photo below shows a crop of ice balls just deposited from the frigid waters of Lake Michigan during the polar vortex event of January 6-8, 2014. These nearly spherical concretions accumulated along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan. The ones featured here are somewhat smaller than the basketball-sized spheres that blanketed the shore last winter.

Ice balls form where water turbulence breaks up a layer of slush. Click here for animation. Slushy ice mattes and frazil ice accrete in the wind-whipped supercooled water. The mattes eventually form into rounded lumps and will continue to grow until big waves push them on shore or until they end up in a protected inlet - photo below:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan Coordinates: 44.913056, -86.020278

Photographer: Ken Scott;
Summary Author: Ken Scott
Images and summary used by permission

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.