When I first saw this giant rotating ice disk spotted in North Dakota this week, I assumed it had to be some kind of human-created object, perhaps a new piece by famed land artist Andy Goldsworthy. The video above was shot by retired engineer George Loegering while hiking along the Sheyenne River. He estimates the rotating disk was some 55 feet in diameter and must have been forming for some time. The St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke with National Weather Service hydrologist Allen Schlag:
The cold, dense air—the air pressure Saturday in nearby Fargo was a record high for the city for the month of November, according to Gust—turned the river water into ice, but since the water was relatively warm it didn’t happen all at once. Floating bits of ice got caught in the eddy and started to spin in a circle.
“It’s not a continuous sheet of ice,” Schlag said. “If you were to throw a grapefruit-size rock on it, it would go through. It’s not a solid piece of ice—it’s a collection of ice cubes.”
Although extremely rare, ice disks do indeed appear naturally from time to time when conditions are perfect. Above are a few examples of people who have been lucky enough to stumble onto one while holding a camera. Learn more over on St. Paul Pioneer Press. (thnx Ben + all)
This amazing shot was captured last year by photographer Denis Budkov in an ice cave near the Mutnovsky volcano in an area of northern Russia. Known for an abundance of precipitation the area is often covered in several meters of snow and ice that cover mountain streams like this creating vast caves that look like something out of a science fiction movie. This particular cave was nearly 300m (980 ft.) long and several photographers in Budkov’s group also snapped a few amazing shots. The photographer also captured this jaw-dropping photo of some tourists in front of a volcanic explosion earlier this year. The power of depth of field, right? (via Russia Travel Blog)
We all know that as the seasons change on Earth, temperatures rise and fall, plants grow or die, ice forms or melts away. Perhaps nobody is more aware of this than NASA’s Visible Earth team who provide a vast catalog of images of our home planet as seen from space. Last month designer, cartographer, and dataviz expert John Nelson download a sequence of twelve cloud-free satellite imagery mosaics of Earth, one from each month, and then created a number of vivid animated gifs showing the seasonal changes in vegetation and land ice around the world.
Despite having encountered numerous seasonal timelapse videos shot here on Earth, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this visualized on such a large scale from space. It really looks like a heartbeat or the action of breathing. Read more over on Nelson’s blog, or see a much larger version of the gif here. (via Co.Design)
Even after living here for 14 years I’m always struck by the juxtaposition of Chicago’s towering steel skyline against the brutal midwest winter as it transforms the lakefront into an arctic landscape. Dave Gorum, co-founder and creative director over at Carbonmade, went out last week and shot some footage of the densely packed ice chunks as they sloshed around in Lake Michigan off Lake Shore Drive and then converted them into these great gifs. You can see more over on his Tumblr. (via tumblr radar)
German photographer and graphic designer Patrick Hübschmann recently captured this great series of photos on a freezing morning on the Rhine in Southern Germany. The trees and grass are completely covered in a thick layer of frost, conveying an uncanny sense of stillness in each shot. You can follow more of Hübschmann’s work over on his blog. (via behance)
Landscape photographer Timothy Corbin recently captured some stunning photos of ice-laden tress on the shore of Lake Ontario. It’s amazing is to see the evidence of what must have been hours of violent waves creating layers of ice that now hover over water or ice that’s now perfectly serene. You can see a couple more shots over on his Flickr stream.
It seems like just a few days ago Chicago had huge ice news, and now this. For the past few weeks things have been pretty darned frigid here in the windy city with temperatures dropping down to the single digits, and just when we couldn’t take it anymore things started to warm up, in a massive-abandoned-warehouse-bursting-into-flames sort of way. Nearly 200 firefighters were on the scene in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood to battle the blaze and incredibly nobody was injured. Temperatures were so low during the fire that water sprayed on the building froze almost instantly leaving behind a spectacularly beautiful ice-encrusted wonderland. Photographers Robert R. Gigliotti, David Schalliol, and Darek Szupina stopped by yesterday and snapped these extraordinary photos. You can see much more over on the Chicago Tribune.
For nine decades Fulton Market Cold Storage Company operated in Chicago’s meatpacking district with a full ten stories of freezing storage situated close to major railways. Last summer the company decided it was time to start fresh in a state-of-the-art facility outside of Chicago, so the building was sold to SRAM, a bike component manufacturer who will use the space for its global headquarters. Architects Perkins + Will were hired to help convert the ice-encrusted space into a new, modernized office building and were also tasked with the most epic refrigerator defrost in history. Luckily photographer Gary Jensen was asked to snap some incredible photos prior to the thawing which was actually caught on video (sorry no embed). See more photos on his website. (via gapers block)
Update: I’ve been asked to clarify that the building owner is technically Sterling Bay and the architect of the conversion is Hartshorne and Plunkard. SRAM is a potential tenant in the building and Perkins & Will is their architect.