Breathtaking Images of Frozen Waves

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  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    All images by Tony Travouillon were taken at the Antarctic base of Dumont D’Urville

    Though spring is going by fast, there are certain parts of the world that are covered by snow and ice even during the summer months. In fact, it is so cold that even waves seem to freeze in midair…

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    But can waves freeze over as word on the intertubes would have us believe? Sorry folks, if you’ve thought ‘yes’ then you’ve fallen prey to an urban myth.

  • Image: via ragingdebate

    Care to surf this wave?

    Frozen waves are actually formed over time in a process called glaciation. Yup, they are nothing but beautifully shaped glaciers found all over the world – the polar regions of course but also in the mountain ranges of every continent, even in the tropics.

  • Image: via delightnature

    According to Wikipedia, a glacier is a “perennial mass of ice which moves over land.”

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    On its journey, glacial ice gets compacted and uplifted in the process and, as seen in the following images, often gets shaped beautifully through constant exposure to the elements.

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    And, quite contrary to intuition, the formations in the images shown here were formed through melting, not freezing…

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    …The downward parts on the ice that look like breaking waves are actually icicles, and the different colours are the result of how quickly the ice has frozen before melting

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    Like a wave but…

    Rapidly frozen ice will look opaque, while transparent ice is the result of ice frozen over time. Melting then produces the smooth, polished surfaces that remind us of waves.

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    Did you know that glaciers are the largest reservoirs of fresh water on Earth? They form the second largest reservoir of total water on Earth, second only to the oceans. Amazing, isn’t it?

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    So what we call frozen waves or waves of ice are not only beautiful to look at but also important water resources crucial for human survival.

  • Image: Tony Travouillon

    If you want to know why ice can have different colours ranging from turquoise, green and blue to black, you will find the answer in our article on Stunning Marbled Ice Growlers.

    Sources: 1, 2

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Simone Preuss
Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff
Environment
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