Ice volcanoes erupt after cold front hits Great Lakes

Ice volcanoes erupt after cold front hits Great Lakes


'Ice volanoes' erupt on Lake Michigan on Sunday Feb. 16

DETROIT – A recent cold front has brought some interesting phenomena to Lake Michigan: first ice balls, now ice volcanoes. 

National Weather Service meteorologist Ernie Ostuno was able to capture some amazing photos of erupting ice volcanoes Sunday at Oval Beach in Saugatuck, Michigan.

An ice volcano is a cone-shaped mound of ice formed over a terrestrial lake by the eruption of water and slush through an ice shelf.

'Ice volcanoes' erupt on Lake Michigan

“Ice volcanoes occur in locations in which waves hit accumulated ice on the shoreline with some force,” said Cort Spholten, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Grand Rapids. 

“We were cold enough to form ice on the shore of Lake Michigan and water had broken the surface of that ice,” Spholten said. “The waves … were strong enough so the water channels through, it squeezes water upwards and tosses the floating ice up. As it happens, over the course of hours or days, it forms a cone and it resembles a volcano.”


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