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The Elegant Designs of Alpine Ice Formations


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The Elegant Designs of Alpine Ice Formations

Most people standing at the shore of Lake Constance in southern Germany look up to admire the snow-blanketed Swiss Alps across the water. But while skating along its frozen northwest edge three Januaries ago, photographer Tom Hegen discovered an equally awesome sight looking down.“The structures in the ice fascinated me and the patterns changed all…

The Elegant Designs of Alpine Ice Formations

Most of us standing on the shore of Lake Constance in southern Germany seek for up to relish the snow-blanketed Swiss Alps correct via the water. But while skating alongside its frozen northwest edge three Januaries within the past, photographer Tom Hegen learned an equally awesome survey taking a gaze down.

“The structures within the ice fascinated me and the patterns modified always,” Hegen says. “I wondered how it would possibly seek for from a greater standpoint.”

So, per week later, Munich-based entirely mostly Hegen returned to the enduring lake, which is surely two bodies of water—the Untersee (or Lower Lake) and Obersee (Upper Lake)—linked by the Rhine River. He introduced alongside the some distance flung-controlled quadcopter he in-constructed 2015 for taking aerial photos. Hegen flew it up to 800 toes above the Mindelsee, a smaller, nearby lake with more attention-grabbing surface patterns that feeds into the Untersee. A mirrorless camera mounted on the plane snapped a complete bunch of photos, every capturing an ethereal, 200-foot-broad expanse of ice.

Despite his fascination, Hegen isn’t certain what prompted the formations, which resemble the chaotic drips and splashes in a Jackson Pollock represent. But Matti Leppäranta, who teaches geophysics on the College of Helsinki, says the gray and white areas result from air bubbles within the ice and “very shallow snow dunes” atop of it. The immense spherical patterns are likely linked to warmth rising from deeper lake water and thinning the ice—“a legitimate signal to gaze your step relatively,” Leppäranta says.


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