Wednesday, September 30, 2020

How Long it would take to Zamboni a frozen Lake Superior

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I am still waiting for that blue police box to take me on a star trek to a galaxy far, far away. Until then I will have to content myself with fantasy and sci-fi adventures from books, movies, and TV shows.

Ever wonder how long it would take to Zamboni a completely frozen Lake Superior?  Probably not.  But the folks at U.P. Supply Co did the math.

According to data collected by the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory since 1973, Lake Superior has only frozen completely once on March 8, 1996. So while it doesn’t seem likely we could get a completely frozen lake to Zamboni, the average peak of ice coverage occurs on March 3 giving some time to freeze up from the current state of 76.8% frozen.

So if we reach the magical 100% frozen (maybe Elsa pays a visit?) how long would resurfacing the lake take using a normal Zamboni?

Plugging in some facts about Lake Superior and stats on Zamboni performance we come up with:

1 frozen Lake Superior = 52,020,513 ice rinks.

Assuming 7 minute per rink the result is: it would take 364,143,591 minutes = 252,877 days = 693 years to resurface Lake Superior in its entirety.

That is using a single Zamboni continuously. Assuming the Zamboni or the operator lasts that long.

If we wanted to speed up the job and get it done in 20 minutes, we would need 18,207,179 Zambonis operating simultaneously.

Now you know.

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