Winding cracks and ice crystals appear on frozen lake in NW China

A wondrous view of winding cracks and pure white ice crystals has appeared on the azure-colored surface of the frozen Bosten Lake as a cold snap sweeps across northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Drone footage shows numerous cracks and fractures of ice running wild across the jade-like lake stretching endlessly into the horizon, offering plenty of enchanting natural beauties to tourists and shutterbugs coming.

The phenomenon known as "ice cracks" results from compression in the ice layers as temperature drops.

"A spectacle of ice cracks has appeared on Bosten Lake so far this year," said Dong Zhihua, head of the local meteorological bureau. "This phenomenon is mainly caused by varying water depths of the lake. Every winter the water freezes at different speeds, leading to ice layers with different thicknesses. Besides, water expands and takes up more space when it becomes ice. The ice layers will then squeeze one another to cracks. When the ice cracks, there's moisture going up from the deeper water at a higher temperature, forming crystals in the crevasse." 

(Cover image a screenshot)

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