Earlier this week the weather conditions were perfect for finding the wonderful phenomenon of methane bubbles trapped in the ice on local lakes. These curious stacks of gas form every year in almost every lake in Canada (and elsewhere in the world where winter temperatures are as severe)
Methane is produced year round by bacteria digesting dead organic matter on the lake bed and in some places by natural seepage of methane pockets built up over eons. In winter when the first layer of ice forms it prevents the escape of the gas, and as methane does not dissolve in water this results in a bubble trapped beneath the ice. Then as it freezes deeper, that bubble becomes suspended within the ice layer and another gets trapped beneath, as the process repeats the stacks are formed.
Whilst it occurs every year it goes unseen quite often because snow covers over the ice very quickly. But occasionally we get a continual series of very cold days and nights with little snow. That was the case this week and a good strong wind promised to sweep the ice clean of what little snow had fallen.
I set out to the upper lake with my wide angle lens, ice spikes and some warm clothing and was happy to have each item. The wind was howling through the nearby mountain pass and along the length of the lake, whipping snow across the surface and lowering the temperature considerably.
It was great to see the lake frozen solid and swept clean of snow, now all I had to do was find some good 'stacks'. I chose the north shore as I have seen methane bubbles along here before and wasn't disappointed this time. I found some great collections, and even with the snow trying hard to get in the way I made some nice shots of this wonderful phenomenon.
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