A Semi-Discrete Element Approach to the River Ice Breakup and Jamming Process

by Qizhong Guo, Rutgers Univ, Piscataway, United States,
Charles C. S. Song, Rutgers Univ, Piscataway, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


A semi-discrete element approach was developed to simulate the whole river ice breakup and jamming process. In this approach, ice mass is treated as discrete elements, and the movement of these elements under hydrodynamic action in presence of other elements is traced. This approach is made practical by lumping a number of actual ice blocks into one element, and by simplifying the continuous movement into seven different modes of motion. Seven criteria for incipient motion were established accordingly. Once an element is judged to be unstable, it is set to move to a new location at water flow speed. A numerical model was established using this approach and tested favorably with an ice breakup and jamming process on the Mississippi River.

Subject Headings: Ice | Rivers and streams | Numerical models | Mathematical models | Discrete element method | Water flow | River flow | Mississippi River

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