The Year of the Tiger Lantern Festival, Jilin sihai Lake appeared “ice dumplings” wonders, is it artificial scenery?
Ice pucks, no bigger than your fist, were spotted on the surface of a frozen lake in a Tao Nan City, west China’s Jilin Province, Feb 14, 2022, on the eve of the Lantern Festival, the year of the Tiger.The phenomenon of “frozen tangyuan” is not common in our country, and is extremely rare in the four seas Lake, so many people wonder: how is it formed?Some friends say that this is the methane from the bottom of the lake, under the ice to gather bubbles, and then frozen by the cold wave, so as to form a ball of ice.Others say it is an artificial scene created by locals to attract tourists.Is it really so?The bottom of many rivers and lakes is home to microbes that break down plant and animal debris and produce methane, mostly methane, some of which is trapped in mud and some of which rises to the surface in tiny bubbles.Some lakes in cold regions, including Lake Abraham at the foot of the Canadian Rockies and Lake Baikal in Russia, exhibit subglacial bubbles during the onset of severe winter.When the underwater methane rises to meet the ice, the water around the small bubbles will be frozen, as the temperature decreases, the ice is thicker and thicker, more and more small frozen bubbles, so the formation of a string of clusters of layers of white “ice bubble”.If you are careful, you may have noticed that these bubbles are different from the “ice dumplings” under the ice of the four seas. The ice bubbles made of methane freeze up and down in three dimensions, because the ice freezes a little bit from top to bottom.While the ice of the four seas lake is densely laid flat under the ice, like cooked yuanxiao, some of the ice exposed, making the ice appear uneven.As a result, the ice balls in The Sihai Lake in Jilin province are not made of frozen underwater bubbles.So who made so many pucks and scattered them all over the lake?Is it really a “gimmick” to develop the local winter tourism?Of course not!Although locals have been quick to guide tourists to the lake to see the sight after discovering the “frozen tangyuan”, it is not an artificial sight, but a creation of nature.When winter comes, on the coast of Finland and Sweden, you can sometimes see ice balls, small as eggs, bigger than soccer balls, some ice bumps washed ashore by the sea, scattered densely on the beach, spectacular.Finland beach covered with ice bumps when the water temperature dropped to freezing point, some impurities can form ice around, floating in the sea in physics is known as the “nucleation effect”, once formed, ice around the supercooled water (under has dropped to freezing point of water) would be condensation on its surface, makes more and more ice, finally became into a big piece of ice.But the water is not calm, so the small pieces of ice do not immediately form into a single mass. Instead, they become smoother and smoother as they collide with each other and end up in balls of ice.This is very similar to how we make tangyuan: you just need to put a small tangyuan in a dustpan filled with tangyuan powder constantly shaking, the surface of the small tangyuan will be evenly coated with powder, slowly become a big and round dumplings.Sihai Lake is a national wetland park with a total lake area of 24,000 mu. Ten kilometers to the west is xianghai Wetland, a famous national nature reserve.The area of the sihai Lake is very large because of the concentration of a large number of microorganisms and water plants at the bottom of the wetland, the water temperature of the Sihai Lake is relatively high, so it is not easy to be frozen in winter.In the days from February 6 to February 10, there was a high temperature in northeast China. The highest temperature in sihai Lake area rose to about 0℃ at one time. Then the temperature dropped rapidly and two heavy snow fell, and on February 13, it fell to below -10℃.The rapid cooling caused thin ice shells to form on the surface of the lake. Snowflakes piled up on the ice, and the water rippled in the wind, causing the ice shells to break up and collide with each other until they formed into balls of ice.As temperatures drop further, the balls become locked in the ice, forming in the same way they do off the coast of Finland, except that the waves of the four seas have no power to push them ashore.Is the phenomenon of “ice dumplings” common in the four seas Lake?Would the same ice freeze occur in the nearby boreal lake?The answer is no, and locals say it’s rare.The formation of ice hockey is accompanied by many accidental factors, among which the influence of air, wind and snow is relatively large. Only the appropriate temperature change can keep ice lumps in the nucleation and condensation zone for a long time, and the rhythmical movement of the water surface driven by wind makes the small ice cubes touch for a long time and slowly form into balls, so that they will not be frozen together soon.But once “ice dumplings” are formed, they can last a long time through the harsh winter before disappearing in spring.If you are interested, you should go and have a look. Maybe there won’t be any more in the future.