Alexandra Falls Captured in Ice

Alexandra Falls on the Hay River, NWT (Canada), April 29, 2008

Alexandra Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Canada. At ~30 m high – it is spectacular to see in summer – especially from the close vantage point offered by this lookout.  Here, Alexandra Falls is captured in ice just prior to breakup 2008.  This large “sail” forms at the lip every winter and seeing it break off as the river breakup unfolds is absolutely awe inspiring.

The BBC crew filming for their new series “Frozen Planet”, captured an entire time-lapse sequence of this falls opening up in spring 2009.  You can see a brief glimpse of it in Episode 1 (which aired on the Discovery Channel last week) and a longer version was shown in Episode 2, which aired the same night as the first episode.  Those of you in the UK and EU can also see a bit of this sequence, including the sail breaking away, in the video clip they have posted on the BBC Frozen Planet web site featuring our team’s research in Hay River.  This same clip is also featured on the Discovery Channel web site for those of us in North America.

(photo by UofA River Ice Group: Nikon E7600, f/4.9, ISO – 50, focal length 8 mm, 1/794 sec. exposure time)


About Faye Hicks

I am a professor emeritus, civil engineer, animal lover and writer.
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4 Responses to Alexandra Falls Captured in Ice

  1. Paul Lepine says:

    Was wondering when is the expecting day the ice breaks at Alexander falls nwt and how long does the ice go over the falls the sound must be crazy love to see it be there in the summer and fall and late spring but never when the ice breaks

    • Faye Hicks says:

      Hi Paul – thanks for reading and for commenting!
      It’s difficult to predict the timing of breakup at Alex. Falls because it’s so dependent upon the weather. Also the first ice run is the most spectacular and only lasts a hour or less. There are subsequent ice runs (from further upstream) but they are not as exciting because those ice pieces are much smaller – having been bashed up along the way. The only way to see that first ice run at the falls is to camp out on the spot for a while – days or weeks even – depending upon the weather.

  2. Pingback: A Darwinian Perspective on Alexandra Falls | River Ice

  3. Pingback: Alexandra Falls Ice Cone | River Ice

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