Frozen tarn - Open water


This winter's scene shows Urswick Tarn during an extended and particularly cold spell of weather when all of the bodies of open water in the area were completely frozen over with the exception of this tarn.  It is very rare for Urswick Tarn to completely freeze over and it can be seen in this photograph that the ice has not spread to the foreground area.  The tarn is 5.63 hectares in area and is around 11 to 12 metres deep along its central, north to south, section, shallowing gradually towards the perimeter where it quite abruptly shallows up the slope of its marl bench.  The reason for it having a rare marl bench is attributable to its predominant source of water being springs rising from limestone geology below the tarn and around the surrounding district.  The 'hard' water rising to the tarn in this way means that the inflow is at a higher temperature than those of the ground and air around the open water, and this prevents this tarn from freezing over for a much longer time than local ponds.  The resulting localised areas of open water, likely to be where springs are feeding water to the tarn, provide a much appreciated feeding and swimming place for water fowl which fly in from around the district, as seen in this photograph.  The Daisy Hill sycamores which feature as Picture of the Month in March 2011 (Click) may be seen across the tarn from this vantage point in the Brow End area of the village of Great Urswick.  With snow on the ground it can also be seen how harmony has returned between landscape and the habitation of villagescape when compared with the scene without snow featured as Picture of the Month in February 2013 (Click).

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