"Why I prefer the field of science over any other is this one single fact: there is no final decision, but a process of constant discovery, discussion and leaning into the evidence that shifts as well. The questions mature as the answers compete."
- Scott Jackson-Ricketts

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Icebergs in Virginia's Blue Ridge?

Here's a glimpse of what is probably a very uncommon wintertime event in Virginia. Story and photographs from the New River Highlands of SW Virginia:


"We have been watching the ice form for several weeks since the record breaking cold snap... 5 straight days below 20 and then 12'' of very wet snow (in which the moisture ratio equivalent makes it more like 20''). The ice was so thick that A and E walked across with the New River raging under them...

A few days later we had heavy rains and it appears that the water washed over the ice to form layers of clear and blue slabs of ice, some 10' thick. As the run off swelled the river, this powerful force lifted the ice and deposited it on the banks, stripping the bark off all the trees along the river. Heavy equipment was brought in to remove the ice from the road at the Round House [an historic structure adjacent to the river]." "...the old timers say they have never seen this before. "
-Mike Floyd

Location: Along the New River in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Photos by Jane and Mike Floyd:




I consider these images to be vessels for time-travel!... a brief glimpse into the distant past, to a time closer to the last ice age, when the New River must have been churning with chunks of ice all through the winter up there in the Blue Ridge. And if you would like to stretch the imagination a bit further, try and imagine Taiga forests (fir, spruce, and birch dominated) covering the landscape behind the ice blocks, and a Tundra-capped Mount Rogers area in the distance...with herds of elk and bison roaming open areas, and gray wolf and cougar lurking in the shadows. - devin floyd




More images of the ice phenomenon, taken along a tributary of the New River:
http://henryreed.com/ice/

1 comment:

  1. wow! great pics of a pretty amazing point in time.

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