This rare ice disc has formed in the South Thompson River, just east of the Yellowhead Bridge, as pictured in January 2020. (Janet Quaw/Contributed)

This rare ice disc has formed in the South Thompson River, just east of the Yellowhead Bridge, as pictured in January 2020. (Janet Quaw/Contributed)

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

–– Kamloops This Week

A very rare natural phenomenon is drawing the curious to the banks of the South Thompson River in Kamloops.

A good-sized ice disc, also known as an ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge.

The disc, estimated to be about 40 metres in diameter, can be seen circling in the middle of the river, with open water around it appearing as a moat.

According to a paper, Rotation of melting ice disks due to melt fluid flow, published in 2016 in the journal Physical Review E by researchers from the University of Liège in Belgium, ice discs are spun not from the river’s movements, but as a result of the ice cooling the water around the disc.

How long the South Thompson River ice disc remains in rotation depends on the whims of Mother Nature.

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