An ice jam occurs when large floating pieces of river ice accumulate in a way that impedes the flow of ice downstream with the river current.
Ice jams aren’t inherently dangerous in themselves, but they can cause flooding downstream if they suddenly break or release.
The video below was captured by a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy from a bridge on Lower River Road in Old Snowmass near Aspen, CO. It was recorded on Christmas Day in 2020.
You can see a wall of water rapidly-approaching at the beginning of the video. It’s then followed by large ice chunks that most likely caused the ice jam.
It’s a really cool natural phenomenon that this Sherriff’s Deputy was fortunate to record! Check it out:
roaringforkwatershed: “On Christmas day 2020, at approximately 2:00 PM, there was an ice jam release on the Roaring Fork River, just upstream of the confluence with Snowmass Creek. Thank you Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Anthony Todaro for taking and sharing this video with us! Video captured from bridge on Lower River Road in Old Snowmass. *Caution: some colorful language from other spectators”