31th of December 2007
circle in ice
A local, Stig Enkvist, discovered the perfectly circular ice floe in the river Råneälven in Norrbotten
(in the north of Sweden) on the 31th of January 2008. At the time of the discovery, the ice floe was still
attached to the rest of the river ice, but on Saturday the 2nd of February, the ice floe separated from
the surrounding ice and started spinning.
Photo: Pär Bäckström
The ice circle was about 50 metres in diameter, and the ice floe about 30 cm thick. The ring of open water
between the circle and the sourrounding ice was 70-75 cm wide.
Clas Svahn, a journalist in the Stockholm based newspaper Dagens Nyheter (read the article about the ice
circle here), is also active in UFO-Sweden. He points out that such ice formations are rare, and that only
a few earlier cases are known from Sweden, among them one in Piteälven in the 1980s.
Clas Svahn explains in the newspaper article how such ice circles form:
" Spinning circular ice floes are an unusual natural phenomenon that may occur as streaming water starts to freeze. When the
the water passes through a back eddy of a river, a wortex of water may form that picks up ice as the surrounding river freezes.
The spinning water in the wortex prevents the ice within it to bind to the surrounding ice, which is also in the process of freezing.
After a while, the edge of the ice floe is ground into a circular shape."
In this case, however, it seems that events took place in the reverse order. The ice floe was initially attached
to the rest of the river ice. After some days it came loose from the river ice and had started to spin.
In some cases it is also clear that there must be another explanation to ice circles in water. This is without
doubt the case when ice circles has formed in still water, for instance in a pond, such as in Maryland, USA in 2001.
Whatever the explanation, we have to agree with Stig Enkvist that ice circles in water may be very beautiful!
- "The most beautiful thing I have ever seen", and "the site has been virtually invaded ", he states to the paper
SOURCE: The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter 7.th of February 2008.
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