Field Tests of Ice Jam Prevention Techniques

by Julius H. Moor, Hydro.; NOAA Weather Service, Anchorage, AK; formerly, Hydr. Engr., Alaska Dist., Corps of Engrs., Anchorage, AK,
Carl R. Watson, (M.ASCE), Civ. Engr.; Alaska Dist., Corps of Engrs., Anchorage, AK,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 6, Pg. 777-789

Document Type: Journal Paper


Through a combined effort, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Air Force, and the State of Alaska have, for several years, conducted a field research program in ice jam prevention with a goal of finding an economical and reliable jam-prevention technique. The development of an operational technique would enable local interests to establish an annual spring jam-prevention program in their area. Research efforts have been concentrated in Alaskan river reaches having a past history of ice jams resulting in high property damage in upstream communities. Efforts were directed toward obtaining either an ice-free channel or an ice flow shear line by using a physical approach of increasing the ice melt rate in a certain area by lowering the surface albedo. Albedo lowering was accomplished through the use of (1) large scale aerial ice dusting operations, (2) pumping of river bottom material onto the ice surface, and (3) river pressure flow over the ice surface.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Overland flow | Ice jams | Shear flow | River and stream beds | Federal government | Economic factors | History | Alaska | United States

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