Radar Monitoring of Ice on the Upper Niagara River

by Randy D. Crissman, New York Power Authority, Niagara Falls, United States,
Louis A. Lalumiere, New York Power Authority, Niagara Falls, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


A standard marine radar was used during the winter of 1987-88 to evaluate its potential to monitor the presence and movement of ice in the Grass Island Pool area of the upper Niagara River. During much of the winter, analog data were recorded every 15 minutes on standard video tape and, for some periods, on digital tape. The radar system provided clear images of ice in the river under a wide range of meteorological and ice conditions. Analyses of the results revealed that the radar could detect the presence of ice in the river and discriminate between moving and stationary or grounded ice and between areas of thin and thick ice, as determined by the surface roughness.

Subject Headings: Radar | Ice | Rivers and streams | Winter | High-rise buildings | Hydraulic roughness | Stationary processes | Vegetation

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