Ice Waterfalls On Bluff Rocks

When my gravel road was first cut through the Ozark hills, small bluff rocks were left along it. In wet, cold winters ice waterfalls form on the rocks.

Freezing rain and a little snow fell a week or so ago. It started to melt. Water seeped into the bluff rocks.

line of ice waterfalls
Abundant water and very cold temperatures have created many massive ice waterfalls hanging from the rocks.

Then the polar vortex arrived bringing frigid temperatures. The water seeping out of the bluff rocks froze into icicles. More layers built up and lengthened the icicles.

Walking down the gravel road enjoying the bit of sunshine and balmy twenty degrees, I found the ice waterfalls lining the road. They are massive this winter.

ice waterfalls
Along the gravel road is a line of bluff rocks. In freezing weather water dripping down freezes into great ice waterfalls.

These ice sculptures look a lot like the stalactites and columns found in caves. They form in much the same way, but from water freezing so they form much faster.

One piece of ice was like a thin drapery. Some were hanging from rock far back under the overhang.

ice waterfall from a hole in the rock
Water seeped down into the bluff rock and flowed out like a small spring. The water froze into another ice waterfall.

As long as temperatures stay below freezing, these ice structures will hang from the rocks. Sun shining on them melts the surface layer, but the water refreezes hanging further down.

Once the sun takes temperatures above freezing, the rocks warm up. The ice against the rocks melts. The ice waterfalls lean away from the rock and topple onto the ground.

The ice waterfalls will be gone until the next round of winter weather lets them form once again.

See other pictures of these ice structures in “My Ozark Home“.