Phenomena

North Dakota Ice Disk

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Cold weather can create some wild fluid dynamics, so pay attention to your local rivers and waterfalls during the next cold snap. The video above comes from North Dakota where a combination of cold dense air and a stable river eddy created a spinning ice disk, roughly 16 meters in diameter. The disk forms as a collection of ice chunks–not one solid, spinning piece–because the ice formed gradually. As ice pieces form, they get caught in the river eddy and begin to spin as part of the disk, rather like dust and ice do in the rings of Saturn. Such formations are rare but not unheard of; here’s a video showing a similar disk as it grows. (Video credit: G. Loegering; via Yahoo and io9; submitted by Simon H and John C)

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