Encore - Lake Michigan Ice Cave

December 28, 2019

LakeMichiganIce Cave

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

: Ken Scott
Summary Authors: Ken Scott; Jim Foster

March 2014 Viewer's Choice Through late February, over 85 percent of the Great Lakes were ice covered. This hasn't happened in more than 20 years. Since ice cover on the Great Lakes was first officially measured, in 1974, the biggest ice year was 1979 when nearly 95 percent of the lakes were frozen over.

The above photo shows an ice cave off the northeast shore of Lake Michigan. All of the ice here is frozen lake water. Both big waves and prolonged cold are needed to form such a cave. They occur almost every year, but only one other time in my 30 years of observing Lake Michigan has it frozen out far enough to access the cave's lake-facing side. Photo taken not far from Leland, Michigan, on February 14, 2014.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D600; Focal Length: 14.0mm (35mm equivalent: 14mm); Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 200.