When will frozen lakes kill me?
February 15, 2007 10:19 PM Subscribe
Under what conditions are frozen lakes safe to be on? Is any noise coming from a lake bad or just earth shattering cracks nearby?
Sorry of this seems silly
posted by ztdavis to Science & Nature (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I live in Bloomington, Indiana. I have had several occasions to walk around on frozen lakes, but not often enough to have what I would call "experience" doing so and I've never heard or been given any particular instructions in terms of safety precautions.
How thick is thick enough? Is there a way to easily ascertain thickness by sight or sound (and not cutting)? What about when it's snow covered? Deep rumbling seems like an okay thing, but when do you know it's not?
One of our lakes (Griffy) has been frozen for at least a week, during which I've gone walking around on it several times. Just yesterday I went walking on it in the middle of the day while many others were walking around and some people were ice fishing. Tonight, when it's even colder, I went back out with some friends and you could distinctly hear what sounded like distant rumblings. At one point there was a distinct, nearby, cracking noise that prompted our leaving.
From a logical standpoint it seems like a frozen mass that large would be constantly slightly shifting, and thus cracking, but when does this spell certain death and when is it just "normal" and not to be worried about. Or should it always be worried about?