Cryoseisms are really rocking the north this winter

Hello science fans, today we’re talking cryoseisms.

Cryoseisms, also known as Ice or Frost quakes, are a winter phenomenon that our northern neighbors are dealing with. These quakes happen when temps drop rapidly causing the water in the ground to freeze.  The underground ice expands stressing the bedrock and soil until it cracks.

When that happens, well just ask anyone who has heard it, “The first thing I thought was did something explode?” “I ran outside, looked around to see if somebody’s house blew up.”

“It seemed like it shook the house.”  The sound is called a cryoseismic boom and while it may sound cool- it apparently scares everyone who hears it.  Said one observer, “It’s a sound you don’t expect. I’d never heard of one- in my 47 years I’d never heard of a frost quake before.”

A recent ice quake in Wisconsin left this huge crack measuring 154 feet long, an inch wide and about 8 inches deep.  Guess that’s just another “joy” of winter in the north.

Coming up next week, mapping the Milky Way.

Filed in: NewsFix, Weird Science

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