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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always thought that slush (water) on the ice was caused by a heavy snowfall on relatively thin ice, which causes the ice to bend and then water seeps onto the surface. If that were true, it would seem that the ice underneath the water would never get any thicker, but it seems as though there is more ice than there was two weeks ago, even with the water on the surface....? At least I saw a truck on the lake this past Saturday, despite the slush that has been there since late December, when the ice was only about 3".
Does the ice freeze, even when there is water on top? Is the slush caused in some way other than I think it is?
 

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On the lake that I fish the ice is about 16" thick right now. When I drill a new hole (or if there is an open crack) the weight of all the snow causes water to come up and onto the surface of the ice. The water keeps flowing out until the hole freezes over or the weight of the snow on the ice equalizes. All this water spreads out on the surface of the ice under the snow and if the snow is deep enough it will insulate the water and keep it from freezing making slush.
 

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Howdy-

Well, if the slush is yellow ......... :D
 

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Originally posted by ih772
On the lake that I fish the ice is about 16" thick right now. When I drill a new hole (or if there is an open crack) the weight of all the snow causes water to come up and onto the surface of the ice. The water keeps flowing out until the hole freezes over or the weight of the snow on the ice equalizes. All this water spreads out on the surface of the ice under the snow and if the snow is deep enough it will insulate the water and keep it from freezing making slush.
Yeap, Thats why I been praying for a few warm days to melt the layer of snow on the ice and let it rise. Then you get the flushing toilet affect.

chad1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But the ice SEEMS thicker now, than it did 4 weeks ago and we have had this heavy snow cover for at least that long.....is it just my imagination?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot this part:
HOW can the snow serve as an insulator? The ice is 32F or colder, the snow is 32F or colder, so how much of an insulator can it be.....?
 

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What causes slush on the ice...?

Heat????;) :D :p
 

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Originally posted by DaveW731
Forgot this part:
HOW can the snow serve as an insulator? The ice is 32F or colder, the snow is 32F or colder, so how much of an insulator can it be.....?
The ice is at 32 degrees, the water below the ice is above 32 degrees, now you add a blanket of snow on top of the ice and when the air temps get below 32 degrees, you are not making new ice. The air temps might get down to 0 or below 0 but the snow insulates the ice from the colder air, the cold air can not penetrate the layer of snow, this is not conducive to making new ice.
 

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as a matter of fact, snow is a GREAT insulator. Not so much the snow itself but when you get a layer of snow, it encapsulates and traps air along with it (mostly air as a matter of fact). Same idea as styrofoam, as foam is comprised of mostly air cells trapped in. Air is a horrible heat conductor, hence energy does not easily transport through the layer of snow.

And as for a little bit of it, the refraction of the light through the snow crystals can also serve as a bit of a heat generator, though usually this effect is minimal.

steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So......
Following this explanation, the ice is now surrounded by water that is above 32F......should not the ice therefore melt to some extent.....?!?!?!?
 

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Originally posted by DaveW731
So......
Following this explanation, the ice is now surrounded by water that is above 32F......should not the ice therefore melt to some extent.....?!?!?!?
You would think so, that may be why you see so many warnings about ice fishing. I would rather be on 6 inches of clear, hard ice than a foot of white honeycomb ice. You will also notice a difference in the density of the ice when you auger a hole, it will be harder to go through the clear ice.
 

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yes and no, the answer all depends on the flux of energy through both insulation sides. Slush may very well be at the freezing point, as its a quazi-solid material. The water beneath the ice also no matter what has a slush layer, as there is no such thing as a perfect front between solid ice and liquid water, there will be a slush zone. The water will be sufficiently cold so that the gradient of heat there will be minimal along with the top also. In all likelihood the thickness of the ice will remain the same barring convection heat transfer caused by current or moving liquid.

There is another possibility, as there can be heat transfer sideways if the ice and slush is not consistent, but as an overall, the statement beforehand would be the general rule. Now, if the slush was not introduced til a hole was punched and is localized in areas, then thats different, as there still will be a gradient of energy through the snow layer if it is sufficiently cold enough to create more ice. Then when a hole is punched that area will have slower ice building characteristics until the slush is frozen then it will be quicker.

A very strange engineering problem indeed.

steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wait a minute........what about the world's largest Frozen Daqueri!
 

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I don't think ice thickness matters when trying to figure out why slush is there. The weekend before last I was up north ice fishing and the lakes I went had 14" of ice under 6" of slush.

As for hindering ice formation, there is no doubt in my mind that it does. The first week of ice at Selfridge on LSC it went from 0 to 4 inches in a week. Then the next few days it snowed heavily and we only got about 1-2" in the next two weeks. I don't believe the temp ever got much above freezing during that two week span.

If there wouldn't have been snow, the ice probably would have been 10-12" after two weeks.

Just my two cents.

Zob
 
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