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September 21, 2018, 11:40:09 AM


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Author Topic: Effects of snow on ice?  (Read 1746 times)
30inthabucket
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« on: December 31, 2017, 07:17:03 PM »

Ok I feel like I should know this but what exactly does the snow on top of ice do to the ice? I thought it would just keep more ice from forming as fast. Fished a buddy's pond tonight. He checked it a couple days ago and said he had 4.5 inches. Being alone and ever cautious I spudded my way out. 3 hits and went through. I drilled a hole and checked thickness. Maybe 3.5. Still fishable but not what I was expecting. And even with temps in the low teens the snow seemed wet down near the ice. But that could have just been from my holes welling up too I guess. I've only been ice fishing a few years and this is the first time I've seen these conditions I think. So will snow on top actually make you lose ice or did he maybe just not get a good measurement? Ice was pretty uniform thickness in all the places I checked.
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slabslayer
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 08:41:27 PM »

Could be both.  Snow insulates, so any warm water underneath can melt the ice from the bottom.  Also snow adds weight, which can force water up on the ice. When a layer of water gets between the snow and ice it’ll eat away at the ice. And as an insulator it will prevent or seriously slow down ice formation. 
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30inthabucket
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 08:57:13 PM »

Gotcha. In general, how much snow does it take to be detrimental to the ice?
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slabslayer
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 07:36:15 AM »

Sometimes only a couple inches. But often it depends on the kind of snow.  The wet heavy snow does more damage than light powder. But I’ve seen snowstorms dump 6-8 inches and ruin 6-8 inches of ice in a day or 2.  Just depends.  Wish I could give you a better answer.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 08:00:53 AM »

No worries. I know it depends on a lot of things. I was just curious.
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 08:30:02 AM »

Hi Aaron,

It’s all about latent heat. As we know, heat energy flows from hot to cold (that’s the basic reason why we need to insulate our homes to stop heat escaping as much as possible). What’s happening is that snow contains a higher amount of heat energy than the ice due to it being wet and having air trapped in it. When it lays on the ice it causes heat energy to flow from the snow into the ice (i.e from hot to cold). Latent heat is the heat energy required to change the state of a substance, in our case from ice to water at 32F. On the other end of the scale it would be from water to steam at 212F. As latent heat flows from the snow into the ice it begins to change its state from ice to water. Solids, such as ice, conduct heat energy a lot more effectively than a liquid due to molecular density therefore; it takes less transfer of latent heat to melt ice (ice absorbing latent heat to change its state) than it does to freeze water (water releasing heat to change its state). In other words ice melts quicker than water freezes as the rate of heat absorption is quicker.....

We learned this a couple of years ago at buckeye lake, it had taken at least 5 day’s at 20Fto freeze the water and give us safe ice yet, we fished for 1 day at 50F and we had some serious melt while we were out.....all due to latent heat...

Andy

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slabslayer
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 09:29:29 AM »

Well put!  And sunlight kills it faster than anything.  I’ve seen Ice over shallow rocky water melt on a sunny day that the high was in the upper 20’s.  But I’m not a physics expert and couldn’t explain it as good as you did Andy. Thanks!!!
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30inthabucket
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 05:08:36 PM »

Thanks slab. .. and professor Grin
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Downthehole
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 05:17:58 PM »

Thanks slab. .. and professor Grin

LOL!.....
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 11:44:44 PM »

Wow Andy,quite a in depth explanation,very impressive,thanks for the information............. Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 05:09:13 AM »

Wow Andy,quite a in depth explanation,very impressive,thanks for the information............. Smiley Smiley Smiley

Thanks! I spent the early part of my career in/around power plants so I know a little bit about thermodynamics....

Andy
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 07:31:38 PM »

Remember to put the blade covers back on the auger after each use.  That snow covered wet ice is really slippery.  One fall on your blades could cause serious injury.
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2018, 08:52:47 PM »

I've been ice fishing since the 80's which by all means doesn't make me an expert but only means I've seen some strange things snow, wind, and current can do to ice, the worse was the blizzard of 1978, when the snow and ice finally melted away there was a huge fish kill in all bodies of water in Ohio. Then 3yrs ago I was on GLSM ice fishing out front of Coldwater Creek, we had about 4" of snow and 6" of ice...... in spots, I assumed since it was good out front, it was good everywhere but as I walked through a snow drift on the ice, my leg popped through the ice to my knee, I was able to get out easily but the pucker factor was 10 fold when you get that weird feeling of going through the ice.
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slabslayer
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 09:07:36 PM »

That happened to me on Mogadore about 3-4 years ago.  It’s crazy how all those factors can change things so fast.  Guess that’s why no Ice is safe ice and spudding is so important.
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