Ice tsunami: when nature unleashes its power

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Frozen floods: a spectacular manifestation of nature

Everyone has heard of tsunamis, the destructive waves that engulf shores. However, another equally impressive phenomenon deserves our attention. These are Ice Assaults, slow but powerful movements capable of causing serious devastation.

The onslaught of the frozen masses

The ice incursion, also referred to as a “glacial ice jam”, takes the form of an accumulation of blocks of ice jostled by the waters of an ocean or a lake and which rush against the coastlines in the form of glacial mountains.

This process can extend through winter, reaching its peak at the end of the cold season and the beginning of spring. It is during this interval, when the ice begins to lose its consistency, that cracks form, separating the pieces of the frozen cover.

These broken pieces of ice are then likely to form ice waves when subjected to strong winds or climatic turbulence. These forces can bring this ice towards the shores.

A formidable formation of icy dams

The stranded ice can end up forming a towering dam. This structure can rise to heights comparable to those of buildings and stretch over considerable distances.

If the wave pressure persists for hours, the progression of this ice can lead to the collapse of structures and cause serious damage to human constructions.

These icy floods are not uncommon in polar regions where fierce winds are common. They are found in places such as Alaskan shorelines, but they can also appear in other areas, such as near lakes in high mountains.

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In summary

Phenomenon Features Risks Common areas
Ice tsunamis / Ice assaults / Glacial ice jam Masses of ice pushed by water, spread out during winter and early spring, form dams by piling up on the coasts Material damage, collapse of structures Polar regions, Alaskan shores, mountain lakes

Through the power of ice tsunamis, nature once again demonstrates its ability to transform the landscape and challenge human achievements.

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