What is a “frosty earthquake”? Listen to the phenomenon of cold weather

Concordia, Can. (KSNT) – “Frosty jolts” aren’t exactly uncommon, but the sounds they make can be quite disturbing if you’ve never felt them.

Recently, a couple in Kansas witnessed their first frosty earthquakes – also known as cryosomes or ice quakes – after moving to Concordia before the first cold snaps of the season.

“One day I was on the street and kept hearing these ‘claps’ that sounded like firecrackers hovering underground, right next to where I was standing,” said Melody Gillan. “My husband thought I was crazy. He said it was someone who fired a pistol from afar. “

On Tuesday, Gillan heard them again – but this time she shot bursting sounds on video.

“A few days later I was on the street and he finally decided I wasn’t crazy was something explodes in the backyard, ”Gillan said. “My husband was born here in Concordia, and has lived here for 37 years, and we have friends here, and no one has ever heard of frostbite.”


The StormTrack weather team at KSNT Nexstar has created a chart to help explain the process that causes these frosty jolts. If the temperature drops rapidly, it leads to rapid freezing of groundwater. This fresh-frozen ice expands and puts extra pressure on the soil and the base around it.

Once the pressure is adjusted enough, it can cause cracks in the soil and even the rock. The resulting crackle can cause loud noises and sometimes even tremors.

Encyclopedia This was reported by Brittanica Frosty shocks can sometimes be mistaken for real earthquakes because of how intense seismic vibrations can be, and they are more common in polar and mountainous areas where glaciers move. However, since Gilan and her husband did not report any shocks, the StormTrack weather team believes the frosty shocks they felt were caused by pressure cracks in the soil rather than in the subterranean rocks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey is offering another explanation for the loud crackles that are audible during sharp temperature fluctuations.

“Another explanation for the boom during the cold snap expansion and contraction of houses and other structures due to extreme temperatures, ”USGS writes.

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