River and Lake Ice Processes Relevant to Ice Loads

by Robert Gerard, Univ of Alberta, Dep of Civil, Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,

Part of: Design for Ice Forces


Ice effects on engineering structures in inland waters are more widespread than generally appreciated. Troublesome ice conditions can be expected regularly north of the 0 degree C January isotherm; this includes 80% of North America and some 52% of the contiguous U. S. Although not as frequent, serious ice problems occur even further south. Examples are an ice jam in the Mississippi River at New Orleans and bridge damage in North Carolina. It seems, therefore, that only a small portion of North America is free of ice problems. Ice processes that influence conditions for assessing ice loads on structures in rivers and lakes are briefly reviewed. The intent is to provide an appreciation of the range of ice behavior that can occur and to indicate those conditions for which engineering estimates are possible and those which remain qualitative.

Subject Headings: Ice loads | Ice formation | Rivers and streams | Lakes | Inland waterways | Waterways | Thickness


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