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About the Cryosphere
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Avalanches can be caused by a variety of factors, including terrain, slope steepness, weather, temperature, and snowpack conditions. (Larger image not available) —Credit: Copyright Richard Armstrong, NSIDC
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down a hill or mountainside. Although avalanches can occur on any slope given the right conditions, certain times of the year and certain locations are naturally more dangerous than others. Wintertime, particularly from December to April, is when most avalanches tend to happen. However, avalanche fatalities have been recorded for every month of the year.
All that is necessary for an avalanche is a mass of snow and a slope for it to slide down. For example, have you ever noticed the layer of snow on a car windshield after a
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? While the temperature remains low, the snow sticks to the surface and does not slide off. After the temperature increases, however, the snow will sluff , or slide, down the front of the windshield, often in small slabs. This is an avalanche on a miniature scale.
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Ellipse ( Venustaconcha ellipsiformis ), a mussel presently listed as Threatened in Wisconsin. This species prefers shallow, flowing, clean small streams with stable substrate in the eastern and southern part of the state. It has also been recorded from localized populations in the western part of the state. The host fish are mostly small stream species including the rainbow darter, Johnny darter and mottled sculpin.
The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Ellipse ( Venustaconcha ellipsiformis ). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.
Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.Note:
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is not available at this time. Information below was compiled from publication PUB-ER-085-99 (now out-of-print).
Identification : Shell is elliptical, heavy and rough having a sharp crease near the posterior ridge. The outside of the shell is greenish-yellow with numerous wavy, continuous rays of dark green. Pseudocardinal and lateral teeth are heavy. Umbro sculpture consists of three or four fine double looped concentric ridges. The nacre is bluish-white to white. The ellipse is small, up to 89 mm (3.5 inches) long.
Habitat : Inhabits small to medium sized streams with good current, in shallow water, on sand or gravel bottoms.