this is a process that usually happens in the spring and fall. The water in lake can only get to 4 degrees celcius(being the coldest it gets at the bottom of the lake durring winter season). The water on the top layer would be more dense then the water on the bottom so it “flips” bring nutrients up from the bottom of the lake and therefore forming a layer on top that can freeze. Or something like that :D(from my noodle)
Like the above answer said, it has to do mainly with water temperature. In the fall, the cold water on the bottom of the lake becomes less dense and floats to the top, essentially turning the water of the lake over, while the opposite happens in the spring. However, sometimes this effect may be very slight, or even unnoticeable in small lakes.
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