Abraham Lake methane bubbles - Frozen in time

Hey Steemians!!!

After going on an up-voting binge I figured I'd better stop myself before the huge hangover hits, I might as well get writing now to continue filling my steemit addiction. I want to start with a huge thank you to the community for the immense support, it really warms my heart in our cold northern climate! Like anyone else on this platform, I do enjoy seeing my name on that front page from time to time and that was really cool. Too many are quick to point out the flaws of the platform so I thought I would start on a positive note with a huge THANK YOU to the steemit community. Trending or no trending, I love exploring nature, my land and immortalize it's beauty in stories for you all (maybe a bit for myself in case I go senile). #newsteem

abraham lake.jpg
Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 10 mm, ISO 140

Now time to get to business, surely with almost a week in Jasper we must have seen something else other than all the wicked fun at Maligne Canyon, well of course my friends...of course. This one is a little off the beaten path but way cool. In the last few years a unique phenomenon has been surfacing all over local news outlets and blogs, the word is spreading quick in Jasper about this previously minimally spoken about location. You may have heard of it by now, you may not... the Abraham Lake frozen methane bubbles. It's a bit of a drive from the town of Jasper and actually not in the park but in the surrounding series of provincial parks that line the front.

abraham lake2 (1).jpg
Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 40 mm, ISO 140

Located in Clearwater County in Alberta between Nordegg and Saskatchewan Crossing (Icefield Parkway) along highway 11 in the Kootenay Plains, Lake Abraham was created to form the largest fresh water reservoir in our province with a surface area of 53 square kilometers and 32 kilometers in length with the construction of the Bighorn Dam. Although it may not immediately be part of the major glacial melts, the water still contains much of the rock flour that gives our Rocky mountain lakes their famous intense blue colors. The explanation is rather simple, The reds and yellows of the light spectrum get absorbed and only refracts the blue hues to the surface. Essentially that silt is grey-ish white and unexciting when it's dry.

abraham lake3 (1).jpg
The imperfections on the ice left behind by skaters create entry points for the light to reflect into the bubbles creating the prisms in the formations. Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 40 mm, ISO 125

When the reservoir was formed, many plants were just flooded and started to decompose at the bottom of the lake slowly releasing methane bubbles that eventually float to the surface and escape into our atmosphere. Because of our frigid conditions and brutal cold spells, the large manmade lake has enough time to freeze on the surface trapping the bubbles underneath. The water stays warm enough to continue the decomposition cycle at the bottom thru the winter but as the ice thickens, they begin to form columns of bubbles trapped together creating the phenomenon quickly gaining social attention. As the new bubbles are formed, they are small but attach to other methane bubbles not yet frozen to create larger bubbles in interesting shapes in real time as they freeze. @silvergingerman took a quick cellphone video of it for us and posted it to youtube.

As intriguing as they are, not all is good, when the ice thaws the methane gets released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas creating concerns within the climate change community adding stress to the accelerated melting of the surrounding glaciers and permafrost in our mountain range. The phenomenon itself or the rate of decay may be partially attributed to climate change that in return potentially rise the amount of methane once trapped in the glaciers to being released as the climate warms in a chain reaction. Much of the surrounding glaciers in the Rockies are responsible for a good portion of North-America's fresh water supply creating more uncertainty as drought and access
to fresh water is becoming a major issue around the world.

abraham lake4 (1).jpg
Shot 1/200 sec. f/7.1 40 mm, ISO 200

We were staying in Hinton for the night and driving into the park everyday, this time we decided we wanted to take a different route and see the foothills, after all we were here to explore. We took a rough township road from downtown and went on an adventure. We had no idea what to expect, we have been on our fair share of sketchy mountain roads, how bad can the foothills be!! Well my friends, it was an interesting ride, in french we have a saying "attache ta tuque" would mean something similar to "brace yourself" , it's definitely a sketchy road in the winter with bridges with no side barriers but the view was spectacular.


hinton_lake abraham.jpg

The back road that we took is somewhat maintained as far as snow removal but it's still just a dirt road so we drove slow and carefully around the bends. The hidden landscape started to reveal itself as we drove thru a series of provincial parks linked to one another lining the font side of Jasper National Park. We were on a ridge for parts of the ride having a good vantage point of the snow cped giaiants. The provincial parks offer cheaper quieter alternatives for camping and hiking and often times have developed recreational areas along rivers and lakes in the summer time while still being in the Rockies. We loaded up on snacks, drinks and sandwiches with a full tank of gas, we suspected we wouldn't see much on our journey, well we were pretty on point. Even if you take a main road to get there like a sane person, pack some supplies for the day, there isn't anything around t nature for a few hours.
abrbraham lake (1).jpg
Shot 1/250 sec. f/8 55 mm, ISO 125

We eventually came out to reach highway 11 and soon after we saw this gigantic blue lake and getting more into the mountains, we had to be close. The way to the bubbles isn't in the normal recreational area so following road sign directions may lead you to the wrong location but getting there is pretty simple following a few redneck instructions, if you pay attention to the photos in my posts you should be able to recognize it. The picture above is coming down highway 11 towards Saskatchewan Crossing, near by, there is a worthy viewpoint of the lake, although not yet at the bubbles, still worth while. The ice leaves large cracks as it freezes like a giant piece of glass and has a current on the edge leaving interesting ripples flowing under the cracks.

abraham lake (4).jpg
Shot 1/1000 sec. f/6 175 mm, ISO 450

abraham lake (2).jpg

We left the view point and continued on where we got into trees temporarily blocking our view, as soon as there was a bit of a clearing, we could see white spots on the blue ice from the top of the hill, this is the spot. It's just on the side of the highway, there is no official parking area but you will most likely find a line up of parked cars from other bubble chasers already on the ice. If you prefer to be sure from the beginning, there is a tour available. I know that sounds like messed up half-ass directions but there is one road, the lake is too large and reflective to miss and the line up of cars with a trail leading thru the clearing is rather obvious, if you made it to the recreational area, you have gone too far, it's only a few minutes passed the viewpoint.

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Screen shot from google maps to give you a better idea, the blue dot is the viewpoint to see the ripples under the cracked ice.

abraham lake (5).jpg

I highly recommend cleats for safety, the glass like surface is extremely slippery, don't even attempt getting on this lake without. If you are bringing a tripod, bring something to anchor it down into the ice and thank me later! (the wind will blow your gear away) The mountains create a wind tunnel blowing into the wide open valley, it can get quite cold and windy, head cover, gloves and warmer clothing is a must even if it's a beautiful day out. Many locals come here to skate, by all means, how many chances do you get to skate on a flawless piece of glass and see right below your feet. The lake does have fish although I don't know how active they are in the winter, I personally didn't spot any. I'm a little jelly of the skating but I know for next time, the ice is really smooth if you can make it at the right time, I want new skates anyway, mine are ancient.

abraham lake (6).jpg

To get to the lake is a bit difficult having to climb and navigate around the big ice sheets that came crashing into the shore before the lake was completely frozen but manageable for medium fitness. Walking around the ice debris I noticed different crystal structures, some of the ice was super clear like the lake while others looked kind of stringy and delicate like they were formed by a slow drip. As soon as we got to the edge of the lake, we could see preliminary bubbles but if you have the nerve to walk on something you can see thru, that's where the best formations begin and contrast with the blue water. Time is of the essence, there is only 3 to 4 weeks of good bubble viewing until the surface of the ice begins to deteriorate from wind and snow conditions. The best time is mid January to the first week- mid February. We went 3 weeks into January and the ice was beginning to turn in a few spots but very minimal.

bubbles (1).jpg

bubbles (7).jpg

bubbles (12).jpg

bubbles (13).jpg

@silvergingerman was a bit spooked at the whole experience but he took it like a champ, at first you see the rocks but as you get to the center of the lake, they disappear and turn into a blue abyss under your feet with cracks everywhere. I rather enjoyed the experience because I could see 2 layers of ice with cracks going in opposite direction, now that's strength! Some parts ware over a foot thick while other were 6 inches or less, be careful where you step, I personally wouldn't go on anything less. By far the clearest ice I've ever walked on, I would do it again next year.

Taken by @silvergingerman with iphone8


bubbles (8).jpg

bubbles (9).jpg

bubbles (11).jpg

All images taken with Nikon D7000 unless otherwise stated.

Comments 53

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
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30.01.2020 04:26

Thank you for your support! xox

31.01.2020 18:43

Congratulations, Your Post Has Been Added To The Steemit Worldmap!
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30.01.2020 04:29


01.02.2020 01:20

Wow, those ice structures are really cool! You're on a roll with these posts.

Here is a link to my @trendthis project's discord https://discord.gg/PkFUFMF. That would probably be easier than exchanging more memos. :)

30.01.2020 04:50

Doing my best to just have fun! Thanks for stopping by :)

30.01.2020 05:58

Great collection of photos! Excellent!!!

30.01.2020 05:26

Thank you!

30.01.2020 05:57

Imagine being able to cut one or more of the small frozen bubbles out and then using them as a joke ice cube in a nice glass of scotch or vodka or what ever, then the cube slowly melts, and all of a sudden as the person is getting ready to take a drink the fine odor of the single malt whisky or the scorching scent of a fine Canadian grey goose vodka, glass slowly comes to the friends mouth for a sip, and then - kaboom, the ice has melted through and released the dinosaur fart right up their nose.LoL.

30.01.2020 05:46

Ah man...so cruel... by far the funniest comment I have ever read LMFAO OMG

I would do something like that if I could, I did make some dicksickles for a party and put them in all of the guys glasses as a joke. Funny reaction when they noticed...hilarious.

30.01.2020 05:56

I would do something like that if I could,

Yes! you can. And don't forget have your Nikon D7000 ready to instantly capture all their funny & hilarious reactions to share them all with us here. :D

01.02.2020 00:54

Haha, I should!! I don't want to shatter anyone's pride like that tho. The ice is bad enough!! lol

02.02.2020 19:21

I don't want to shatter anyone's pride like that tho.

No problem. Just offer them a slice of the profits gathered from the gallery exposition where you are gonna show & sell the photos that will turn them into instant celebrities.

Anyone's shattered pride solved!! LoL

02.02.2020 22:53

"Anyone's shattered pride" makes for a great name for the expo :)

02.02.2020 23:08

A flyer idea...

02.02.2020 23:28

Beautiful sceneries

This post has been manually curated by The PhotoStream team: The Photography Tribe!

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Congratulations @ladybug146

Posted using Partiko Android

30.01.2020 07:42

I'm glad you enjoyed it, thanks for stopping by!

31.01.2020 18:41

Wow!! You explain such a scientific phenomenon so well even I could understand it, thanks! I would have been pretty scared to walk in the ice like I always am on those see through glass floor sky walks, but I could imagine it would be so cool to see those bubbles up close and personal.

30.01.2020 08:29

It's a common enough phenomena but generally ice gets messy and full of snow, it's hard to get such clear ice. Sky walks are pretty awesome too, you could probably trick your mind that it's the same. The skywalk is probably still safer. Walking on clear ice is still pretty neat, the bubbles were pretty insane. Thanks for stopping by! :)

31.01.2020 18:16

Oh Gosh!!! That place is so incredible that I feel my heart melting, despite the cold shots you've taken!
Great job! As well as the well-detailed article. Keep doing what you do because you are doing it right!!

30.01.2020 08:40

Thank you for your kind words! This place was pretty nice, even in the cold!

31.01.2020 18:18

Thank you for your kind
Words! This place was pretty nice,
Even in the cold!

                 - ladybug146

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

31.01.2020 18:18

Stunning photography with exceptional description for someone who will never get to see this exceptional phenomenon of methane bubbles captured under ice, nor cracks in ice.

Great advice for others trekking out there to do photography, wonderful amazing nature!


30.01.2020 08:42

Why I bring it to steemit!! Now it can be enjoyed by many and not just locals :)

It's a dangerous activity and remote enough, I would like everyone to be safe if they become bubble chasers, it's easy to get hurt out there.

31.01.2020 18:21

Makes for exceptionally beautiful photography shoots something I will never get to see, thanks for going out bringing unusual pictures.

01.02.2020 09:41
🎁 Hi @ladybug146! You have received 0.1 STEEM tip from @joanstewart!

Check out @joanstewart blog here and follow if you like the content :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide.

30.01.2020 08:43

Wooow your content was just amazing and the photos are superb!

30.01.2020 10:27

Thank you!! I enjoy bringing my landscape to steemit!

31.01.2020 18:11

Those frozen bubbles! Amazing photos!!

30.01.2020 13:27


31.01.2020 18:40

Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Honorable Mentions in [Daily Travel Digest #755](https://goldvoice.club/steem/@steemitworldmap/travel-digest-756).

Your post has been manually curated by the @steemitworldmap team and got an upvote from @blocktrades to support your work. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider supporting us so we can keep the project going!

Become part of the Haveyoubeenhere community:

30.01.2020 17:42

Thank you @livinguktaiwan! Hope you have a great week-end! xox

31.01.2020 18:42


30.01.2020 20:25

Congratulations @ladybug146! You received a sweet smile from TravelFeed. We love your work so keep up the good job. 😊


Based on your post, we have the following feedback for you:

  • We noticed that you did not publish your post through TravelFeed.io or edited your post on other Steem frontends. For better-looking blogs, we recommend you use our EasyEditor. As a bonus, when you post through our platform, you receive double upvotes from us, you are eligible for the top pick of the day (resteem + featured on the TravelFeed.io front page) and you can earn extra rewards from being featured in our daily curation posts. You can simply login with your existing Steem account using Steemconnect or Steem Keychain. See you next time on TravelFeed.io!

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31.01.2020 03:46

Thank you for the encouragement!

31.01.2020 18:39

WOW, such an awesome freeze to capture, very nice photos and blog. Thanks @oldtimer for pointing me this way to find @ladybug146. Nice stuff!

31.01.2020 04:06

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed it! We get some wicked cold snaps out here but somehow life carries on all around nature. @oldtimer is like a steemit guardian angel, thank you!

31.01.2020 18:29

Thanks for the quality content :)

31.01.2020 14:05

I'm glad you liked it :)

31.01.2020 18:39

31.01.2020 16:02

Thank you!

31.01.2020 18:35

01.02.2020 13:25

I want to thank you and encourage you for all your positions that you do
I would like to ask you to help me also on the blockchain
I'm new

Follow me 🙏

31.01.2020 22:54

Please check it my first post. I wanna try to make money, i am a traveler with broken leg (femur) now im in my home and need so much time to recovery my leg.

I am full of experience, i can tell my own original story here. Please people see me and give me a chance.


01.02.2020 00:23

I understand your struggles but asking to go visit your blog and leaving links in comment section isn't proper etiquette to gain attention (some might even flag you for it, we don't want that to happen). I did check out your blog, you have a nice story but the layout of the post makes it hard to read, I would like to help you but there are no quick fix to making money here, perhaps you can follow along, I have a beginners writing/photo contest happening you could enter and begin learning.

02.02.2020 19:17

Gahhh! I love these pictures! The ice formations look like nature's own 3D abstract art. Thanks for sharing!

01.02.2020 05:46

Thanks!! Nature does some pretty amazing things. Thanks for stopping by!

02.02.2020 19:19

Amazing. Your content your way of capturing. And of course your energy.

01.02.2020 06:52

Thank you so much!! xoxo

02.02.2020 19:23

Outstanding photos, following you now so I won't miss your future posts.

01.02.2020 12:50

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed! Welcome to my blog xox

02.02.2020 19:25

I really like POSTS that Get BIG Payouts. Beautiful Pictures @ladybug146

02.02.2020 06:17

Awwe thanks @stokjockey! We all like posts with big pay...so exciting! hehe

02.02.2020 19:25