Ice bubbles in Lago Bianco, Switzerland


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When lake water freezes quickly it can trap bubbles below the surface. These bubbles in Switzerland’s Lago Bianco were likely formed from methane. Decaying organic matter at the bottom of the lake is eaten by bacteria, which in turn pump out methane gas. If conditions are right, the methane bubbles are captured as the water freezes around them. When the water ices over and the surrounding mountains are blanketed with snow, the name of this lake is particularly fitting: Lago Bianco translates to ‘White Lake’. A reservoir formed by a pair of hydroelectric dams, it lies high in the Swiss Alps at the Bernina Pass.

When lake water freezes quickly it can trap bubbles below the surface. These bubbles in Switzerland’s Lago Bianco were likely formed from methane. Decaying organic matter at the bottom of the lake is eaten by bacteria, which in turn pump out methane gas. If conditions are right, the methane bubbles are captured as the water freezes around them. When the water ices over and the surrounding mountains are blanketed with snow, the name of this lake is particularly fitting: Lago Bianco translates to ‘White Lake’. A reservoir formed by a pair of hydroelectric dams, it lies high in the Swiss Alps at the Bernina Pass.

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