Acoustics of thin Ice

A tone is radiated when people are skating on thin, black ice. The phenomenon is well known to the experienced skater. In fact he estimates the thickness of the ice by listening to the tone.

I have measured the "ice frequency" at different thickness of the ice. My assistant, my little lightweight son, has hit the ice with an axe and I have recorded the sound with a microphone and a mini-disc at a safe place. The recordings were analyzed with a FFT-analyser in Time mode afterwards.


Skating on thin ice and  acoustics of  infinite plates (InterNoise 2001,  pdf, 170kB) 

Ny Teknik (jan 2003; Swedish, pdf, 350 kB)

Sound of thin ice (sound file,  755 kB)

Sound of too thin ice (sound file, 168 kB )

Impact sound (sound file, 529 kB )

Walking on cold snow (sound file, 862 kB)