Author Topic: Frozen lakes  (Read 5941 times)

Jock Ellis

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Frozen lakes
« on: February 20, 2010, 08:45:45 AM »
Do lakes ever freeze in Maine or is that even farther north? My high school physics teacher told us you could put a piece of dry ice on a lake, push it and it would travel for miles. Someday, I'd like to see that. There doesn't seem to be such a video on Youtube. I searched last night.
Jock Ellis
Jock Ellis

Keith Taylor

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 09:43:54 AM »
Jock, are you asking if our lakes freeze solid all the way top the bottom of the lake? In which case I would have to say no, as most lakes are spring fed. Some ponds certainly freeze solid, and you can see fish frozen solid in the pond, and come spring they thaw out and swin away! If you are asking if the lakes just freeze enough to support a lot of weight, then yes. There are two standard gauge steam locomotive on an island at Eagle Lake that were taken to the lake by building tracks out on the frozen surface of the lake and steaming the locomotives to the island.
Ice fishermen wouldn't have much fun, however, if the lakes froze solid all the way to the bottom. And the fire / rescue folks wouldn't have the fun of fishing pick up trucks and snowmobiles out of the lakes, when folks aren't careful about knowing the thickness of the ice!
Keith
http://www.maine.gov/doc/parks/history/allagash/rr.htm

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,752
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 11:39:36 AM »
Even here in Pennsylvania, lakes and ponds and even rivers freeze during some winters. I just saw a piece in the newspaper that Lake Erie is now iced over, which will reduce snowfall over the northwestern third of the state from lake effect snows. I've seen several farm ponds around here during the last few days that are frozen over. The last time I remember the Susquehanna River, which is right down the street from me, freezing completely was in 2001. Though I didn't do it, I know several people who walked across the frozen river.

On a railroad theme, I have been told that in years past, railroads often laid temporary track onto ponds from which ice for home ice boxes was harvested and loaded into refrigerator cars for shipment to the cities.

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,412
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 05:49:52 PM »
Lakes and rivers in Maine usually freeze up in the winter.  This winter's a little different.  Everything froze up in December/early January, then in mid-January we had heavy rain for a day which freed up a lot of ice (and caused a big ice jam on the Kennebec below Hallowell).  We've had some cold weather after that, but it's been mild for the last several weeks, so we're worried about trucks falling through.  There's a smelt fishing derby on one of the big lakes this weekend - and the Forest Service lost some trucks in the lake on Friday.

Jock Ellis

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 07:13:58 PM »
I would laugh about the Forest Service trucks but my Mom worked for the USFS. No, I didn't mean solid. Just enough to hold me and a piece of dry ice which is sliding along as I walk, run, slip, slide and fall. It has been bitterly cold down here in north Georgia, sometimes getting down to 24. But it was cold enough to allow some of the coves in the state's biggest lake, Lanier, to freeze. A friend said he saw some boys playing ice hockey on the lake. A newspaper story reported that a teenager cracked the ice and drowned.
Somewhere I read something about the relative strength of ice. Something like twice the thickness of what it took to hold up a car would hold up a train. Or something like that.
Jock Ellis

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,412
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 07:35:17 PM »
The smelt fishing derby, on Sebago lake, was canceled because too many trucks, fishing shacks, and people were falling through the ice today.

Jock Ellis

  • Museum Member
  • Hostler
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 07:57:07 AM »
James,
What thickness does it take to hold up a, say, 200 lb. person?
Jock Ellis

Ken Fleming

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 382
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 08:30:04 AM »
Smelt? Love fried smelt.  I wonder if we could get Fred to do a smelt fry during the Spring work weekend?  Wayne and I could bring the Black & Tan.

Keith Taylor

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 09:29:40 AM »
James,
What thickness does it take to hold up a, say, 200 lb. person?
When the ice is between 8" and 1' thick, folks drive their pickup trucks out on the lakes here in Maine.
Keith

Dave Reed

  • Museum Member
  • Gandy Dancer
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 10:21:36 AM »
James,
What thickness does it take to hold up a, say, 200 lb. person?

The minimum safe thinkness to walk or skate is 3 inches.  For a snowmobile or other ATV it should be 6 inches.  For a Car or truck it should be 12 inches. 

Of course there are several things that can cause thin ice as well.  Whereever water enters or exits a lake you can get thin ice.  Also, a pressure ridge will sometimes form and when it subsides you can end up with open water that quickly gets a skin on it.

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 555
    • View Profile
Re: Frozen lakes
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 10:23:46 AM »
Smelt? Love fried smelt.  I wonder if we could get Fred to do a smelt fry during the Spring work weekend?  Wayne and I could bring the Black & Tan.

 :o Oh MAN! I am SO there!  ;D