[meteorite-list] Holes in ice

From: Gary K. Foote <gary_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 11:46:56 -0500
Message-ID: <45E6BD30.16840.112F59D_at_gary.webbers.com>

VERY interesting Darren. I've emailed the reporter and sent him to the URL for my search
in a melt-hole. I'll also be contacting Mr. Ives for his opinion too. But the
conditions we saw at our hunt site are exactly as stated in the article, a small man-made
pond with steep sides - in fact very steep sides. Surface of the pond well below the
local water table. Sounds like we MAY have an answer.

Thanks for posting this.


On 1 Mar 2007 at 10:14, Darren Garrison wrote:

> http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070228/COLUMNISTS03/202280381/-1/columnists
> Do holes in ice create holes in space theory?
> Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2007
> In January 2001, Susan Taylor, a research scientist at the Army Corps of
> Engineer?s Cold Regions Research Laboratory in Hanover, visited Frost Pond in
> Dublin to investigate a mysterious hole in the ice.
> Local residents asked her to come because her work on snowpack research includes
> going to the South Pole to collect micro-meteorites - and they wondered whether
> the 3-foot-wide gap had been caused by incoming space debris.
> Her verdict, at the time, as I reported it: Maybe.
> Her verdict now, as I found when checking in again: Maybe not.
> "Since then . . . I?ve heard of many more of these (mysterious holes in frozen
> ponds)," Taylor said in a phone interview last week. "I think it?s some natural
> phenomenon, but I have no idea how they?re formed."
> Frequency casts doubt on the meteorite theory, Taylor said, because not many
> softball-size rocks make it through the atmosphere without burning up.
> You may wonder why I?m bringing up a 5-year-old story.
> Because another of those mysterious holes appeared Sunday, Feb. 18, in a small
> pond on Curtis Brook Road in Wilton.
> "It?s very curious indeed - there just aren?t any tracks around it," said Nikki
> Andrews, who with her husband, David, have owned the property for nine years.
> By the time they spotted the foot-wide hole it had begun to freeze over, but as
> you can see from the photo taken by a neighbor, it was still plainly visible.
> Also visible were the lack of animal and human footprints nearby - no beaver or
> ice-fishing fan made this hole - as well as odd "splash marks" that stretch out
> in several directions.
> Andrews said the splash marks made "slight furrows" in the snow, leading them to
> guess that something had crashed through the ice from above.
> "They?re definitely on top, and that?s what really surprised me," she said.
> I got all excited about meteorite possibilities when the Andrewses first
> contacted Telegraph correspondent Jessie Salisbury, who contacted me, until
> Taylor squelched that idea.
> A little Net searching found similar stories about mystery ice holes here and
> there, occasionally with real meteorites confirmed but mostly full of uninformed
> speculation (which is what we reporters do best).
> I couldn?t figure out who else would have expertise: hydrologists?
> meteorologists? New Hampshire Fish & Game? The New Hampshire Mutual UFO Network
> (maybe space aliens are abducting brook trout)?
> I finally fell back on the non-Internet world?s version of Web searching -
> flipping randomly through my Rolodex - and wound up talking with Wayne Ives of
> the state Department of Environmental Services? Instream Flow Program.
> Ives has spent years splashing around the Souhegan and Lamprey rivers as part of
> a project to set standards on river usage, which is how I met him, so he knows
> New Hampshire waters in winter. He was intrigued and puzzled, so I e-mailed him
> a copy of the Andrewses? photo.
> That?s when (pun alert) he threw cold water on my meteorite hopes: "That looks
> to me like a melt hole," he said.
> As Ives explained it, above-freezing water flowing into a small pond can move in
> funny ways and congregate, raising the surface temperature enough to melt ice.
> Evidence in favor of this idea is the small size of the pond, which was man-made
> a couple of decades ago, and the fact that some of its banks are steep.
> "I have seen it on small lakes - especially where the banks are high around it
> to get a good gradient from the shore - the possibility of a lot of groundwater
> coming in. In a shallow environment like that, it could overwhelm the system,"
> he said.
> Our weird winter contributes to the possibility, said Dr. Stephen Daly of the
> Cold Regions lab.
> "It was incredibly warm right up through the second week of January, with a lot
> of rain, so I think the groundwater levels got really, really high for winter .
> . .. An upwelling of groundwater could do this," he said. "The water table
> around the pond might be higher than the water surface on the pond."
> This doesn?t explain splash marks, however. Here?s all I can think of: they?re
> actually signs of more melting from below. The warmer water could have oozed
> along cracks under the ice, partially melting the snow above those cracks from
> underneath in a way that looks like they were melted from above.
> The Andrewses allowed a neighbor to bore a few auger holes in the ice and poke
> around in the mud at the bottom (five feet down) with a stick. Alas, no
> meteorite was found, but I haven?t given up hope.
> The neighbor measured the ice at the hole and found it to be 6 inches thick,
> which seems a lot to be melted.
> I think more investigation in needed. I wonder if The Telegraph will let me rent
> a miniature submarine?
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Received on Thu 01 Mar 2007 11:46:56 AM PST

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