A breathtaking ice ring on the North Shore

A stunning ice circle on the North Shore


Nature sometimes offers astonishing spectacles. 14 kilometers northeast of Sept-Îles, a circle of ice several tens of meters in diameter has formed on the Moisie River. The phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by helicopter pilots.  

At first glance, the slab of ice appears to have been cut with a knife. Its outline is clean and its shape is perfectly circular. 

Helicopter pilot David Arseneault regularly flies over this area. He was particularly amazed by this natural phenomenon created by a combination of factors related to the current of the river and the weather conditions. 

“There is a place at mile 14 of the railroad where the river changes direction and it swirls. We often see ''mottons'' of ice that turn and stay in place. With the cold, we've had extreme cold over the past few days, it's coming together and a little snow is falling on top of it and it's getting bigger, it's getting bigger. Yesterday I was on a training flight with a colleague and passed overhead and we were like, “wow”. The disc was huge, immaculate white and uniform, which is quite special.” 

A not unique phenomenon

This phenomenon is not unique, but in this case, the size of the circle and the contrast caused by the dark color of the Moisie River surprised the pilot and the members of his Canadian Helicopters team.

“By eye, I would say it is between 100 feet and 200 feet in diameter. The phenomenon exists elsewhere, but with the black of the river, the white of the disc, it is really special. It is probably one of the most remarkable places in the world to see such a great contrast with this phenomenon. says David Arsenault.

The phenomenon is ephemeral. An overview of the premises on Friday morning revealed the beginning of crumbling of the disc. David Arsenault will continue to observe the evolution of the phenomenon over the next few days.  

“We are going through this to our delight. It is always pleasant to see the phenomena. I will never tire of this. I will always be amazed by the things that we see by the nature of our profession. It's really beautiful.” 


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