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Hissing Glacier Ice

This is one of my favourite things I saw on this trip (sad I know). When the sun had come out and was falling on the pieces of ice they started warming up. You can just about make out some narrow channels in this ice, imagine fine cotton threads embedded randomly. The threads were hollow channels and each one ended at the surface in a tiny little pin-prick hole. The channels were partially filled with water and partially filled with air (are you with me so far dear reader?).

As the ice warmed up, so it seemed that the air in these channels started to expand, as it did so it hissed out of the pin-prick holes at the surface except where it was partially water filled when the water hissed and bubbled out. It was very quiet but when you put your ears and eyes up close the apparent inert surface was alive with this movement and gentle hissing. I thought it was cool anyway.

Air temp: +17º C Latitude: 65º 60' N Longitude: 52º 46' W


These are pictures from a cruise to the High Arctic in August 2010, from Resolute Bay Canada to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
Pictures copyright Paul Ward. Pentax digital equipment.

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