News 8 Eye Piece: Roadside Ice
Ice formations along I-90 near La Crescent
LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT) — Winter may not be your favorite time of year, but it is undeniable that the season brings beauty with it. And even though the temperatures are below freezing.
News 8 Photographer John Schmidt shows us in this week’s Eye Piece that water is still liquid and flowing just a few feet below the surface along I-90 near La Crescent.
“If you have ample rainfall, ample precipitation that occurs and enough of that gets soaked into the ground, that water that falls in the prior months is then going to become the supply of water for the ice formations that you see along the road cuts,” said UW-La Crosse Geography Professor Colin Belby.
“So, there’s a lot of things that could cause the discoloration of that ice,” Belby continued. “As that water is passing through that rock, it’s dissolving and picking up different minerals along the way. And, so there’s a lot of calcium that’s in that water and there’s iron that’s in there, there’s magnesium that’s in there. In addition to that you might have some fine particulate matter. There’s real small particles, clays and things and maybe some silt particles that might also be coming out. So that might contribute to some of that discoloration that you see within that ice.”
The Kickapoo Valley Reserve in La Farge has its own ice formations in a more pedestrian friendly location. Click here for more information on the Ice Cave Hike Series.