Rappahannock River Ice

January 08, 2010

Rappahannock ice

Photographer: Pat Cooley
Summary Author: Pat Cooley; Jim Foster

The photo above, showing ice build up on the Rappahannock River in Virginia was taken earlier this week. The Rappahannock flows into the Chesapeake Bay – this photo was snapped about 7 miles (11 km) from the Bay. Whereas the near-shore area is completely ice covered with border, or shorefast, ice, the deeper and rather fast flowing channel, approximately 300 ft (91 m) from the shoreline, is ice-free. This area of the Rappahannock is tidal, and with tides that ebb and flow and with the brackish water found near the river’s mouth, several consecutive days of below freezing conditions are required before the water is sufficiently chilled for freezing to occur. At high tides, ice accumulated on the pier pilings and the stalk of the now abandoned osprey nest (left center). As shown here, the tide is ebbing. The riprap in the foreground is used to deflect the impact of waves and unusually high tides from eroding the shoreline.

Rappahannock River coordinates: 37.602756, -76.389272

Snowstorm Hits the U.S. East Coast