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Ice Shelves Return to Sarnia

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The ice shelves have made their way back into Lake Huron specificity at the Sarnia shoreline. Don’t be fooled by these structures’ natural elegance, they are extremely dangerous. They are not solid and rescuing someone that has fallen through an ice shelve is an almost impossible task.

So what is an ice shelf?

Permanent floating sheets of ice that link to a landmass are ice shelves. The coast of Antarctica is hugged by much of the world’s ice shelf. However, wherever ice flows from land into cold ocean waters, including some Northern Hemisphere glaciers, ice shelves may also form. Several well-known ice shelves, including the Markham and Ward Hunt ice shelves, are situated on the north coast of Canada’s Ellesmere Island.

In The Great Lakes, ice shelves exist; the ice appears to break up, refreeze and get driven toward the shoreline. This normally forms ice shelves that stick out a few metres from the shoreline, and appears like solid ground at times, but is not. This ice is very weak and thin and should not be walked on since the lake is still moving beneath it.

At the convergence of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, 100 km west of London, is the City of Sarnia. The nearby Point Edward Highway Bridge connects Sarnia to Port Huron, Michigan. Sarnia is a major petrochemical industry hub. It was also the residence of Alexander Mackenzie, Canada’s first Liberal Prime Minister. The area hosting much of the petrochemical industry in Sarnia is known as the “Chemical Valley.” Medical experts have raised questions about the health effects of the industry on staff and local residents in recent years. According to a 2011 World Health Organization survey, pollution from the industrial park leads to Sarnia having the worst air quality of any city in Canada.

Ice shelves
Ice shelf, Lake Huron Shoreline @ Sarnia: Photo Credit Facebook

This season, the municipality as well as local police forces and the OPP encourage people to enjoy the viewing of the ice shelves along the shoreline of Lake Huron from a reasonable distance to ensure that everyone stays safe. Don’t risk yourself or our first responders.


Blue Horizon

About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

1 Comment

  1. As a resident of the Sarnia area, it irks me that I began to read your page to find out about shelf ice locally and suddenly you start talking about pollution and air quality. The information you have is exceedingly outdated. Check your facts before you spread an unflattering picture of this very beautiful region. We may have air quality issues but they aren’t anywhere like they were 10 years ago and many Canadian cities suffer from far worse air pollution issues.

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