February 1, 2008

Ice quake!

Does anybody know about the quake? We do!
Thursday afternoon the staff from the University of Wisconsin-Madison near Lake Mendota felt a shake and heard a noise like a boom which was triggered by an ice quake.

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison geologists, even though they didn’t feel the quake on West Dayton Street the tremor was recorded around 12:50 p.m. and lasted two or three seconds. At the time quake the temperature in Madison was of 16 degrees.

Patrick Brenzel, from the department of sociology situated at the eighth-floor, 1180 Observatory Drive, said: “It actually sounded like a bus drove into the building. The whole building shook.”

The ice quakes are triggered by large shifts in lake ice when temperature changes dramatically thus making a loud noise when it cracks, according to Cliff Thurber, a professor of geophysics....

Several people called police when they’ve heard the noise....

[P]eople coming out of the offices were looking at each other almost like saying “Do you think it was a bomb?”

ADDED: "The Pond in Winter."

20 comments:

dbp said...

I had no idea that Al Gore was in Madison yesterday.

Susan said...

I think I had one of those in my ice tea glass as I was sunning myself yesterday on the patio. Ah Florida.

Original Mike said...

Like MadisonMan, I'm bummed I didn't feel it.

I've been out on the lakes when they crack. Even though I know there's no danger, I can't help tensing up when it happens. My imagination pictures the ice opening up and me going for a (very cold) swim.

Jeff said...

Ann, I just checked Prince's Web site, and I'm afraid he's demanding royalties for this post.

Tibore said...

Shifting ice shook a whole building? Wow!...

If ice on a relatively small body of water (relative to bodies like, say, Lake Michigan) can cause that sort of event, I'm more in awe of the power behind ice shifting on larger bodies, like glaciers.

Wow.

Ann Althouse said...

Ice made Lake Michigan.

Pogo said...

Ice quake? Bah.

I demand Althouse debate me about the fact that it was actually secret underwater blasting by the nefarious Madison city council.

How else to account for the thermite on the ice?

Tibore said...

Yes, professor, that's true. Glaciers grinding out the earth created that body. When I think about that, I'm just floored by the sheer scale and power of the ice age glaciers.

It's easy to see why nature is endlessly fascinating, even to the earliest thinkers and writers in human history.

JohnAnnArbor said...

We in the Midwest do get the occasional earthquake.

And, pogo, perhaps that guy should look into controlled blasts under Madison itself. After all, some major cities sit on mines. With most of America blissfully unaware!

Danny from Milwaukee said...

Heh. There's a typo in this post that is almost the title of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

rhhardin said...

People relate loud noises to things in their actual experience, like bombs on TV.

Meade said...

I'd you dodged a bullet. Lucky it wasn't a tsunami.

Bad Penny said...

Johnannarbor, have you seen this one? http://www.silentwall.com/BochniaI.html

JohnAnnArbor said...

No, hadn't seen that one! I'd heard of the other one they mention, Wieliczka, from a History Channel show on salt. Thanks!

RMc said...

Does anybody know about the quake? We do!

Shut up, already! Damn!

Ricardo said...

Maybe it was just a two gun salute from Mendota and Monona, in honor of Althouse being back in town.

Middle Class Guy said...

A professor at UW is stating that the so called quake was actually a controlled explosion caused by the government in an attempt to silence the 911 trut tellers. He has the evidence and there are films to back up his claim. Further the real proof is its failure. He states that the government just can't do anything right. Google it!

cardeblu said...

Wow! I've never heard of "ice quakes" before. It makes sense, tho. Cool!

Michael_H said...

Waiting for the 1/31 trouters to demand a debate about Lake Mendota ice quakes being caused by BushCheney....

Global warming caused formation of the great lakes when the glaciers receded and melted. SUVs were not involved, although I was only a child at the time, so my memory may be inaccurate.

IdioT_SavanT_i4 said...

The Madison Lakes are the result of meltwater pooling in an existing depression. The glacial moraine stops west of the lakes in Cross Plains. What ice may have been here was surface cover and not the sort of glacial event that gouges holes in the ground to later fill up with water - I believe.
Of course I could be wrong since it happened 3 days before I was born as well.