Sastrugi or frozen waves

I learned something new the other day – the irregular grooves or ridges that form on the snow surface by the wind are called Sastrugi (or Zastrugi). They look like frozen waves and form parallel to the wind direction. These frozen waves can be used as a direction finder if you know the direction of the predominant wind which would be north northwest for us in Baker Lake.

These frozen wave forms are cool but can be tiring (and annoying) to walk on for long periods of time. The wind also can erode the sastrugi into sculptured forms that can be as high as 2 feet. Inuit call the sastrugi kalutoqaniq, the large sculptures kaioqlaq and the small ripples tumarinyiq.  Very cool!! ~ Sophia

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Paw Sastrugi

Paw Sastrugi

 

Side view of paw sastrugi

Side view of paw sastrugi

 

Many steps

Many steps

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