Method for Weakening the Ice Cover in Northern Rivers

by Victor Manikian, ARCO Alaska Inc, Anchorage, AK, USA,
Giles N. McDonald, ARCO Alaska Inc, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore


The recent acceleration of development activities in the North, mainly related to the development of oil and gas fields, has necessitated the bridging of many arctic streams. In such streams, a major design consideration is the effect of ice on river stages during breakup and the forces exerted by ice on bridge piers or other instream structures. A method used to locally weaken seasonal ice cover prior to breakup is described. The method consists of removing snow and cutting slots in the ice to allow the ice to warm, weaken, and melt more rapidly than would otherwise occur. A description of the slotting procedure, measurements of resulting ice temperatures, and a description of the breakup process are provided.

Subject Headings: Ice | Rivers and streams | Temperature measurement | Snowmelt | Seasonal variations | Piers | Hydraulic design | Arctic

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