Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ice Caves, part 1

Part 1 of the series (so many photos to sort through!)  (see part 2, part 3, and part 4)

Sunday I headed out early for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin on the south shore of Lake Superior.  Caves are formed into the sandstone shore by wave action.  In the winter, splashing waves freeze on the rock formations and ground water seeps out and freezes, creating fantastic ice formations.  The caves I viewed are along the mainland part of the Park.

I knew it would be an icy trip, so prepared my boots.  I studded them with sheet metal screws for traction.  It worked quite well!

I got there about 8:30am and parked along Hwy 13.  I had to walk about 3/4 mi to get to the shore due to all the other sightseers.  Once at the beach, it is another 1.1 miles across the frozen lake.

Frozen in the ice are shards of ice.

Lots of frozen air bubbles and microfractures. 

These bubbles were several inches in diameter.

 Half way there.  

Some of the ice is yellow.  This is from ground water that is steeped in organics compounds from the foliage and soil. 


Under a sandstone ledge

Looking up a sandstone cliff with a massive ground water icicles growing from it.
The lower icicle here was more than 10 ft long.

In a cave washed out by wave action, hanging with icicles made from splashing water.

Sheets of ice down the rock face.

 Crooked icicles formed as water runs down the sheet of ice, and with its momentum it doesn't fall straight down.  As the icicle forms, the water runs down the icicle and freezes to the top.

More pics in part 2part 3, and part 4 !

No comments:

Post a Comment