Carleton professor Jeff Ondich is a GBM regular and this morning he stopped by my corner office to alert me to the ice circles forming below the Ames Mill dam. I blogged about ice circles back in 2009 but haven’t seen them since.
Jeff’s photos (left and center) of the ice circles with his smartphone turned out a lot better than those from my smartphone. However, he really does have zombie eyes from spending too much time in front of a computer. In addition to being a computer science professor, he owns a language software/app company in Dinkytown called Ultralingua; they also have word game app called Accio. Now if we could only convince him and his Twin Cities-based employees to relocated to Northfield. Hmmm.
I got a call from Dean Kjerland at Art On Water Gallery yesterday, alerting me to some lily pad-like ice floes circulating below the Ames Mill dam. He wondered whether they were pollution related. Rob Schanilec at By All Means Graphics theorized that last summer’s repairs to the adjacent retaining wall may be causing a different circulation pattern in the water, as he doesn’t remember this phenomenon occurring.
Wikipidia has an entry on ice circles. Evidently, there are two different types. More photos here.
Update 12/25: Patrick Enders emailed me this photo of a single large ice circle at the foot of the dam that he took with his iPhone about 1-2 weeks ago. He says in a comment below that there were two of them.
Update 01/12: Another batch of ice circles has formed during the current cold snap: