What-If 0121: "Frozen Rivers"

What if there was a forum for discussing these?

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

The Synologist
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:50 pm UTC

What-If 0121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby The Synologist » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:33 am UTC

Frozen Rivers

What would happen all of the rivers in the US were instantly frozen in the middle of the summer?

Agreed that the idea of all the people swimming in the water in the middle of summer suddenly being encased in ice is pretty... chilling.









I'll show myself out.

User avatar
slinches
Slinches get Stinches
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby slinches » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:07 am UTC

Oh man ... that was cold.

David24
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:03 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby David24 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:12 am UTC

So does this mean that my question of the exact temperature needed to freeze an ocean solid while running across it a la Frozen isn't going to be answered?

I really needed that answer, it was for a fight.

spartl
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:30 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby spartl » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:44 am UTC

Just curious (and isn't that why we're here?), but can you really correlate river volume and discharge rates? (Note 4)
I don't remember the basic hydrogeology (likely because I never took it), but wouldn't the "slope" of the river affect the flow rate, which would affect the discharge rate? A slow, meandering river could hold a lot of water while having a low discharge rate. Or are we assuming everything averages out?

Also, regarding dams bursting from water expansion (Note 5) - back when I worked with water in potentially freezing conditions, we were told that a corrugated hose could fail in freezing conditions, even if the water didn't fill the hose. In other words, water lying in the corrugations would expand sideways just as much as up. I think the reasoning they used was that water expands in all directions, not just in the least-resistance way you'd assume. (wow, ice cube trays seem a lot more powerful now)
I think the dam question(?) would depend on what the water next to the dam was pushing on (the frozen water next to it), as well as the strength of the dam.

I think that's why they grease the insides of large dams - for just such an eventuality.

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby keithl » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:17 am UTC

Hair dryer ... no. Pretty much the entire electric grid will fail, and we will be in fallout shelters because some of the nuclear plants will melt down.

Of course, we lose hydropower, which provides not only base generation but peaking reserve. We also lose cooling water for almost all the thermal power plants, except for those sited on big natural lakes (presumably exempt from the freeze) and the ocean.
Many nuclear plants probably have big enough cooling ponds and enough emergency generator fuel to keep the cores cool during shutdown, but I'm guessing some depend on an intact supply of natural water for medium term cooling. Some will melt down.

While clever engineers may be able to rapidly jury rig systems to melt the river ice, strain out ice chunks, and feed cooling systems, this may not happen everywhere in the general chaos of an unpowered America.

Without electricity, we can't use most well pumps. We will lose almost all irrigated crops. Not sure whether the natural gas and fuel distribution pipes running across the country can operate without grid electricity. Some of the power plants will overheat and catch fire. Without pumped water distribution, we won't be able to put out fires - in the summer heat, expect to lose large areas of some cities to fire.

The good news is that without electricity to power televisions, video games, etc., the effective IQ of the population will skyrocket, and mass-advertising-driven demand for consumer crap will plummet. All that intelligence, freed time, and available resource may not only solve all the problems caused by the freeze, but bring about a new creative renaissance.
Last edited by keithl on Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:24 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:23 am UTC

It should be noted that there are nested footnotes.

They don't appear to be working quite right for me on mobile.
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby keithl » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:39 am UTC

azule wrote:It should be noted that there are nested footnotes.

They don't appear to be working quite right for me on mobile.

Indeed, the nested nested footnote shows up as very small text on this 15 inch diagonal 2048x1536 laptop screen, and if I resize the browser wrong, that text box gets clipped. Sized correctly, it reads: Whoa, I can nest footnotes!

User avatar
Neil_Boekend
Posts: 3220
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:35 am UTC
Location: Yes.

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:46 am UTC

David24 wrote:So does this mean that my question of the exact temperature needed to freeze an ocean solid while running across it a la Frozen isn't going to be answered?

I really needed that answer, it was for a fight.


Assuming typical salinity: -2°C / 27.3°F

However, it is not a question of temperature. It is a question of getting thermal energy out of there fast enough.
I assume:
1. You run at 3 m/s (10.8 km/h)
2. You freeze a track with a cross section of 1 m2 (for easy calculation)
3. The water temp is 17°C (quite reasonable according to this map)

This means you need to freeze 3 m3 of seawater per second.
Typical density of seawater is 1.025 g/ml (or 1.025 kg/l)
An m3 of seawater is thus 1000x1.025 = 1025 kg

The specific heat capacity of water is 4181 J/(kg·K). I assume salt water is similar.
Cooling 1025 kg of water down from 17°C to -2°C means you have to remove approx 4181 * 1025 * 19 = 81 * 106 joules

Water needs 334 J/g to melt. This means that to freeze it you need to remove 334 J/kg.
A cubic meter of seawater is 1025,000 gram.
Thus we need to remove approx 1025000*334 = 342 * 106 joules to freeze a cubic meter of water that is already just above freezing.

In total we need to remove 81 * 106 + 342 * 106 = 423 * 106 joules per cubic meter.
We need to cool and freeze 3 cubic meters each second. That means we need to remove 3*423 * 106 = 1.27 * 107 joule per second. That is an energy flow of 1.27 * 107 watt. No matter how you are going to remove it, you need a place to dump it. You are not going to absorb that energy because you'd die. Probably even burst into flames.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:31 am UTC

keithl wrote:
azule wrote:It should be noted that there are nested footnotes.

They don't appear to be working quite right for me on mobile.

Indeed, the nested nested footnote shows up as very small text on this 15 inch diagonal 2048x1536 laptop screen, and if I resize the browser wrong, that text box gets clipped. Sized correctly, it reads: Whoa, I can nest footnotes!
Geek discussion, ahoy!

They are footnoted at 0.7em. ("em" is a relative size that essentially means percentage. This one says 70% of the parent size. ("parent" is a silly term used in web development to mean the container of another thing (block, usually))) Because each footnote is inside another footnote and the web designer did not envision someone doing that, the text quickly gets smaller. Each nested footnote should be marked up as .refbody .refbody {font-size: 1em;} and then it wouldn't shrink after the first footnote. (Actually, changing it to .ref when prescribing the size would be more efficient...)

I'm not sure the deal on how it goes offscreen, as that usually gives me a scrollbar and I just have to slide to the right.

I'm on my computer now and see it as it was meant to be. It's weird, I had thought there were nested footnotes one time before. I don't want to go looking for it.
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

Gil-Galad
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:19 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Gil-Galad » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:41 pm UTC

Would there really be flooding? I’d guess most riverbeds have capacity for twice the usual volume. Breaking dams wouldn’t be all that catastrophic either since the water behind the dam would be frozen, thus not causing a huge, sudden flood but only melting slowly. I don’t know about the icebergs piling up and blocking the river scenario, but since ice flows on water it can’t be that bad, can it?

User avatar
mathmannix
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:59 pm UTC

the bears wrote:If revenge is a dish best served cold, then put on your Sunday finest. It's time to feast!
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

eidako
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby eidako » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:44 pm UTC

I wonder if the person who asked this question plays Dwarf Fortress.

In adventure mode you spend hours practicing rock throwing, hours wrestling with badgers to gain Herculean strength, hours playing fortress mode making unobtanium axes and breastplates for your adventurer to claim. Then, when you're all suited up and ready for adventure, you start to swim across a river to the wilderness beyond. The river freezes instantly. You die. Your save file is deleted forever. All that work for nothing.

As much as I want to claim foul on the game physics, it occurs to me that it's a strikingly accurate analogy for real world mortality.

User avatar
Flumble
Yes Man
Posts: 2264
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Flumble » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:47 pm UTC

azule wrote:I'm on my computer now and see it as it was meant to be. It's weird, I had thought there were nested footnotes one time before. I don't want to go looking for it.

A quick forum search shows it was temporarily in 103.

Neil_Boekend wrote:That is an energy flow of 1.27 * 107 watt. No matter how you are going to remove it, you need a place to dump it. You are not going to absorb that energy because you'd die. Probably even burst into flames.

But, say, you have the telekinetic power of flowing air (-10°C at standard pressure) towards the surface. How fast must the air be going to transfer that 12.7 MW?

User avatar
Moose Anus
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Moose Anus » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:02 pm UTC

keithl wrote:The good news is that without electricity to power televisions, video games, etc., the effective IQ of the population will skyrocket
Not really.
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

paulmiranda
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:43 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby paulmiranda » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:07 pm UTC

keithl wrote:Hair dryer ... no. Pretty much the entire electric grid will fail, and we will be in fallout shelters because some of the nuclear plants will melt down.

Of course, we lose hydropower, which provides not only base generation but peaking reserve. We also lose cooling water for almost all the thermal power plants, except for those sited on big natural lakes (presumably exempt from the freeze) and the ocean.
Many nuclear plants probably have big enough cooling ponds and enough emergency generator fuel to keep the cores cool during shutdown, but I'm guessing some depend on an intact supply of natural water for medium term cooling. Some will melt down.


I don't think most nuclear plants would melt down. Assuming there isn't a secondary accident, like instant flooding from dammed up rainwater, they should be able to get the control rods in fast enough to shut them down. I would hope they sized their cooling ponds to handle the requirement for sustained shutdown even if any frozen rivers deprived them of fresh water. If secondary effects prevented them from getting fuel for their backup generators, they could lose the cooling pumps eventually, so it'd be a race to see if the rivers melted and any damaged water intakes could be repaired fast enough.


PS Loved the Oregon Trail reference. That classic is older than I am!

chris857
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby chris857 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:19 pm UTC

Elsa! Why did you freeze summer again?

Felderburg
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:09 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Felderburg » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:43 pm UTC

Is this first What If? that he's consulted so heavily with an outside expert on (or at least quoted them so heavily in the article)? I don't recall others where outside experts were quoted so extensively. I wouldn't mind seeing more of it.

Also, I don't think he mentions the depth of the freeze. I can't tell if the assumptions made are based on all the water freezing, or a standard "top layer" of ice over running water.

dacaldar
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby dacaldar » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:49 pm UTC

paulmiranda wrote:PS Loved the Oregon Trail reference. That classic is older than I am!


Thanks for that - I was pretty sure that was the reference, but came here to ask. Even one confirmation is good enough for me :)

Awesome memories of that game.

jonbly
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby jonbly » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:17 pm UTC

chris857 wrote:Elsa! Why did you freeze summer again?


It's odd that based on what we see, it only takes a couple of days for everyone to declare it an 'eternal winter'...


> The Atchafalaya offers a steeper path to the Gulf of Mexico, but if it captured the Mississippi's flow, it would leave the major ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge high and dry.

I thought New Orleans wanted less water...

serrath
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:50 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby serrath » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

If everything melts so quickly, what does this mean for weather systems? I imagine in the summertime that could cause quite the commotion!

Bigtext abused because no one else was discussing this topic. To make up for it, any further comments I make on the subject will be sized thusly.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:30 pm UTC

I think he missed the point of the question.

4 words:
Beach volleyball on ice

Discuss.

teelo
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:50 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby teelo » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:34 pm UTC

keithl wrote:Hair dryer ... no. Pretty much the entire electric grid will fail, and we will be in fallout shelters because some of the nuclear plants will melt down.

If this were to happen on a global level, then, nuclear free country master race reporting in 8-)

User avatar
Dr What
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:43 am UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Dr What » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:40 pm UTC

"This would wipe out several fish species completely"
I learnt that if you put a goldfish in liquid nitrogen and freeze it, it will revive when it's back to water. So if the rivers are frozen instantly, will the fish survive? I guess it depends on the size of the fish, but what's the critical size? Has anybody tried freezing salmons in liquid nitrogen and see if they will survive?

Another question, I saw footnote 1,4,5. What happened to 2 and 3?

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:42 pm UTC

Dr What wrote:Another question, I saw footnote 1,4,5. What happened to 2 and 3?


1[2[3]].JPG
1[2[3]].JPG (47.92 KiB) Viewed 13704 times

rmsgrey
Posts: 3655
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:14 pm UTC

Dr What wrote:Another question, I saw footnote 1,4,5. What happened to 2 and 3?


Footnoteception

User avatar
Neil_Boekend
Posts: 3220
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:35 am UTC
Location: Yes.

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:27 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:I think he missed the point of the question.

4 words:
Beach volleyball on ice

Discuss.

Bare feet on melting ice? With the metabolism of the participants in summer mode? Really? I'd be the only one that likes it.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:11 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
azule wrote:It's weird, I had thought there were nested footnotes one time before. I don't want to go looking for it.

A quick forum search shows it was temporarily in 103.
Thanks! I didn't know it got changed.

Felderburg wrote:Is this first What If? that he's consulted so heavily with an outside expert on (or at least quoted them so heavily in the article)?
This makes me wonder if Randall did much at all. I bet he let the guy have at it, ghost writing, and this is why "Randall" is surprised that he can nest footnotes even though he's done it before. Maybe he unnested the previous one in relation to this article. *conspiracy*
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby keithl » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:30 am UTC

Moose Anus wrote:
keithl wrote:The good news is that without electricity to power televisions, video games, etc., the effective IQ of the population will skyrocket
Not really.
xckd903:
extended_mind1.png
"Apparent" is not "effective". That xkcd describes Searles' Chinese Room experiment, with a "car expert" who does not know what a car is, much less how to actually open the hood and gap the spark plugs. Wikipedia is a pointer to information (and splendid for that purpose), but not a source of it, and a good reference librarian can kick Wikipedia's butt most days.

Even further afield, I once was able to type in a search query to Google and get a short list of web documents that had those exact search words in it. Sometime in the last year or so, Google changed. Now the engine seems to use search terms to choose one of a finite number of precomputed lists, ignoring search terms or redefining them as a poorly educated programmer might (median to average, for example). When a search comes back with a million results, but all the results have an essential search word crossed out in small gray text, or an illiterate word substitution, I say "Google STRIKES OUT!" and head for my own basement library, or save the search for my next trip to a good university library (Berkeley, U. Washington, MIT, etc). Stanford moved their library search to Google, and put their collection in storage, so their library quality dropped below the local community college. A generation from now, those community college graduates will outperform Stanford graduates. Effective, not merely apparent.

I commend Randall for seeking out an expert on ice in rivers, but thumbing through an illustrated children's book on rivers would have suggested quite a few more river "dependencies" beyond fish and floods (power plants, ships and barges, municipal water sources, etc.) and led to many more exciting disasters. People faced with actual disaster get smart or dead in a hurry, hence my original comment.

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:16 am UTC

Which is why the entire thing may have been outsourced. See, I outsourced my reading of this to you people's reading of it. I haven't read it yet. lol. Me and Randall are simpatico.

Well, here's the good news: Maybe one of us will be next to write the next What-If. I wrote one (a parody). It had one explosion (an asteroid).
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby cellocgw » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?

Spoiler:
If, as is far more likely than a sudden blast of cold freezing the rivers into normal ice, it all formed Ice-Nine, then things would be way different. For example, upstream water, rain, etc. wouldn't overflow the banks. It'd just make more Ice-Nine.
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

rmsgrey
Posts: 3655
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:10 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?

Spoiler:
If, as is far more likely than a sudden blast of cold freezing the rivers into normal ice, it all formed Ice-Nine, then things would be way different. For example, upstream water, rain, etc. wouldn't overflow the banks. It'd just make more Ice-Nine.


Ice IX is only stable below 140K and between 2000 and 4000 atm - it seems even less likely to form than "normal" ice.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby cellocgw » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:47 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
cellocgw wrote:OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?

Spoiler:
If, as is far more likely than a sudden blast of cold freezing the rivers into normal ice, it all formed Ice-Nine, then things would be way different. For example, upstream water, rain, etc. wouldn't overflow the banks. It'd just make more Ice-Nine.


Ice IX is only stable below 140K and between 2000 and 4000 atm - it seems even less likely to form than "normal" ice.


sigh, sadness and dark clouds descend upon me. You really never read
Spoiler:
Cat's Cradle
?
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?
Why would we wonder about Randall's intentions when it was Charlie? I finally read it all. Half the article is directly Charlie, maybe most.

Btw, if you want super nerds you might have to go OTT. We discussed ice ix, but maybe It doesn't apply here. Also, please link your spoiler.
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

User avatar
ManaUser
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:28 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby ManaUser » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:17 am UTC

If the water really froze "instantly" isn't it likely that the expansion could cause some dramatic effects even in a natural waterway?

rmsgrey
Posts: 3655
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:11 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
cellocgw wrote:OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?

Spoiler:
If, as is far more likely than a sudden blast of cold freezing the rivers into normal ice, it all formed Ice-Nine, then things would be way different. For example, upstream water, rain, etc. wouldn't overflow the banks. It'd just make more Ice-Nine.


Ice IX is only stable below 140K and between 2000 and 4000 atm - it seems even less likely to form than "normal" ice.


sigh, sadness and dark clouds descend upon me. You really never read
Spoiler:
Cat's Cradle
?


I really haven't, though I'm aware of the concept - it's a minor plot point in Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors, among other mentions. Did Vonnegut address the enthalpy of crystallisation?

dtilque
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:53 am UTC
Location: Nogero

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby dtilque » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:33 am UTC

dacaldar wrote:
paulmiranda wrote:PS Loved the Oregon Trail reference. That classic is older than I am!


Thanks for that - I was pretty sure that was the reference, but came here to ask. Even one confirmation is good enough for me :)

Awesome memories of that game.


It's not the first time he's referenced that game
“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”
-- Albert Einstein, 12 September 1920

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26823
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:OK, everyone who's posted so far can turn in your nerd and SciFi cards.

I mean, really, was I the only person to wonder why Randall didn't discuss what sort of solid water was formed?
I have to turn in *my* nerd card because I didn't stop to think maybe Randall should have been talking about a fictional impossible form of "ice" from a Vonnegut book?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Clix
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:42 pm UTC
Location: 717841.03 834745.456

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Clix » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:02 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I have to turn in *my* nerd card because I didn't stop to think maybe Randall should have been talking about a fictional impossible form of "ice" from a Vonnegut book?


No, no, no.... Only surrender your right to make obscure references then make snide comments when someone questions it.

I read tons (figuratively) of Vonnegut way back when. I didn't make that particular leap either.

Is the ability to recognize Vonnegut references still a required Nerd Cred? I've lost track.
People need panic...panic in regular draghts. I read about the governments of the world, and I panic daily. It's a heart pumping workout that keeps my cheeks rosy and my vision crystal clear.
Thorax:Pigborn (Brooke McEldowney)

User avatar
azule
Saved
Posts: 2132
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:45 pm UTC
Location: The land of the Golden Puppies and Rainbows

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby azule » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:21 am UTC

I've never read one of those books. We're nerds in our own ways and at our own levels.
Image

If you read this sig, post about one arbitrary thing you did today.

I celebrate up to six arbitrary things before breakfast.
Time does drag on and on and contain spoilers. Be aware of memes.

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5590
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 121: "Frozen Rivers"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:55 am UTC

How can there be a What-If about Rivers in Summer submitted by 'Zoe' with no Firefly references?
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.


Return to “What If?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests