Be Careful When You Walk the Beach

January 12, 2014

The Dynamic Great Lakes Blog


It’s a typical January day at the beach in West Michigan. Blown in by northwest winds, wave after wave smashes against ice ridges on the shore of Lake Michigan.  Ice balls bounce and roll—their clattering sound mingles with the swoosh of the spray and the roar of wind and waves.  Children who built sand castles on this beach in the summer now look in wonder at the fantastic shapes wind and waves have carved.  It looks as though a giant ice troll had been playing there, heaping mounds of ice, gouging out ice caverns, grottos and deep crevices then smoothing off ice shelves.  Perhaps another troll came along and smashed some of the ice into huge shards that clink together in the water like pieces of a broken plate glass window.


Quirks of wind, waves and the configuration of the lake bottom cause the shore ice to change…

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