River’s destructive ice floe shows Mother Nature’s power

Warning: Mildly NSFW language.

If you’ve ever seen video of a flash flood, you probably remember the awe of witnessing nature’s raw power. We don’t think of water as a rival to fire for sheer destructive force, but when the levee (or in this case ice dam) breaks, that impression seems foolish.

During spring thaw, an enthusiastic pair of geology students capture video of an ice flow progressing along the Wild Ammonoosuc River. The sudden influx of water is caused when the “ice dam” breaks farther up the river, weakened by the increasing temperatures. Until this point water has built up behind the temporary ice dam, and now is free to rush forward, raising the water level and bringing creating a devastatingly fast current.

Despite the quick onset of the water, the person filming is able to get ahead of the flow by driving a car downstream. In fact, he is able to capture a second video farther down the river, showing another angle of this impressive event.

It is not only exciting, but educational to see how these ice floes interact with the surrounding land and vegetation. Once upon a time, much of Canada’s landscape was carved out in this fashion when the Ice Age’s massive glaciers.