The Råne river, Norrbotten, SWEDEN
31th of December 2007
circle in ice
A local, Stig Enkvist, discovered the perfectly circular ice floe in the river Råne
in Norrbotten (in the north of Sweden) on the 31th of January 2008. At the time
of the discovery, the ice floe was still attached to the rest of the river ice, but on
Saturday the 2nd of February, the ice floe separated fromthe surrounding ice
and started spinning.
Photo: Pär Bäckström
The ice circle was about 50 metres in diameter, and the ice floe about 30 cm
thick. The ring of open waterbetween the circle and the sourrounding ice was
70-75 cm wide.
Clas Svahn, a journalist in the Stockholm based newspaper Dagens Nyheter
(read the article about the ice circle here), is also active in UFO-Sweden. He
points out that such ice formations are rare, and that only a few earlier cases
are known from Sweden, among them one in Piteälven in the 1980s.
Clas Svahn explains in the newspaper article how such ice circles form:
Spinning circular ice floes are an unusual natural phenomenon that may form
as streaming water starts to freeze. When the the water passes through a back
eddy of a river, a wortex of water may form that picks up ice as the surrounding
river freezes. The spinning water in the wortex
prevents the ice within it to bind
to the surrounding ice, which is also in the process of freezing. After a while, the
edge of the ice floe is ground into a circular shape."
In this case, however, it seems that events took place in the reverse order. The
ice floe was initially attached to the rest of the river ice. After some days it came
loose from the river ice and had started to spin. In some cases it is also clear that
there must be another explanation to ice circles in water. This is without doubt the
case when ice circles has formed in still water, for instance in a pond, such as in
Maryland, USA in 2001.
Whatever the explanation, we have to agree with Stig Enkvist that ice circles in
water may be very beautiful!
- "The most beautiful thing I have ever seen", and "the site has been virtually
he states to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
SOURCE: The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter 7.th of February 2008.
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