Evolution of Ice Cover Roughness

by George D. Ashton, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,
Jon Zufelt, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and, Engineering Lab, Hanover, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering

Abstract: The formation of an ice cover on a river results in an increase of stage relative to open water stages at the same discharge. Due to the formation process, especially for freeze-up ice jams, the underside of the ice cover is very rough initially and smooths with time. Observations in the field have shown considerable reductions of stage or head loss with time. Three mechanisms responsible for the evolution of ice cover roughness are investigated: freeze smoothing, melt smoothing, and depositional smoothing. While these mechanisms have previously been noted as the cause of smoothing with time, this paper presents quantitative estimates of the magnitude of roughness changes based on the physics of the three processes.

Subject Headings: Freezing | Hydraulic roughness | Water discharge | Ice jams | Snowmelt | Rivers and streams | Professional societies

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