Epic Encounters: Aurora Borealis, Tornadoes, and the Astonishing Power of Nature

By Sophia Maddox | April 23, 2024

Frost Quakes Cause Light Shaking of the Ground During Cold Weather

Prepare to be enchanted as we explore the awe-inspiring wonders of our planet. From the spellbinding dance of the aurora borealis to the dramatic spectacle of a total solar eclipse, Earth's natural sights never fail to captivate. But amidst the beauty lies the raw power of nature, as hurricanes and tornadoes remind us of its relentless force. Yet, in the midst of chaos, there's also harmony – the gentle whispers of nacreous clouds and the ethereal glow of fogbows. Join us as we delve into the extraordinary, where every photo is a testament to the breathtaking marvels our world beholds. Let's embark on this journey together and marvel at the sheer magnificence of Earth's natural wonders!

test article image
Getty Images

Frost quakes occur when the ground thaws and then refreezes during the winter. This process causes cracks in the ground to rapidly expand, which can generate a form of small-scale seismic activity. These quakes can cause loud sounds and shaking, but they do not tend to cause damage. In many cases, there's no visible evidence that they even occurred except for the cracks in the ground.

They only occur in regions of the world that experience extreme cold, such as the northeastern and upper midwestern states in the U.S. However, the temperature must drop from near the freezing point to 0 degrees or lower over a period of 16-48 hours.

Sinkholes: Sudden Openings of the Earth's Surface

test article image
Source: Reddit

Sinkholes are formed when the surface layer of the ground collapses into an underground tunnel or cavern as you can see in this image. These holes often fill with rainwater, which can cause a pond to form. There are different ways that sinkholes can be created, but erosion is the most common mechanism. Groundwater can erode rock beneath the surface, and this creates an opening under the surface that grows rapidly. This erosion can eventually cause a sinkhole to appear on the surface.

In other cases, sinkholes can be formed as surface water causes erosion and makes its way underground. The sinkhole is created after the surface water enters an underground tunnel or cavern.

However, sinkholes often do not open up into an underground cavern or tunnel. That's because the material leading to the collapse often blocks the tunnel. In some cases, there is actually an opening into a cavern or tunnel at the bottom of the sinkhole. Some examples of sinkholes that have an opening into a cavern are the Minye Sinkhole in Papua New Guinea and the Cedar Sink in Mammoth Cave National Park.