Field investigation of freshwater frazil ice dynamics

Authors: Richard, Martin
Advisor: Morse, Brian
Abstract: Despite knowing extremely little about it, frazil ice is the most important building block for ice infested waters from which, and upon which, most ice is subsequently formed. Frazil ice is a major engineering threat to river and marine infrastructure. Quantitative measurements of frazil ice are vital to clarifying its dynamics, but very few studies have assessed frazil ice in natural water bodies. This is mainly because detection of frazil ice in the field is very difficult. The ice is sensitive to handling and evolves and transforms rapidly. This thesis addresses the need for field data and also seeks to understand more about frazil ice interactions with hydraulics, the atmosphere and other ice types encountered in rivers. An efficient methodology to detect frazil ice in rivers was developed and tested through multiple field instrumentation campaigns. From field data that were obtained during three winters, quantification of frazil ice was attempted by different independent methodologies. The Rouse theory was applied to vertical acoustic backscatter measurements in order to estimate frazil ice particles’ dominant size. Multi-frequency inversion methods were used and applied to estimate both dominant size and concentration of suspended frazil ice. Theoretical approaches that use heat flux modelling were used to predict frazil ice growth rates. Those modelled values were compared with acoustic measurements. The thesis shows that acoustic measurements are very promising to get basic information about frazil that has not been available until now. Such data are also very useful to gain a better understanding of how frazil ice is produced, under which conditions it evolves and how it interacts with the water and the atmosphere.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2011
Open Access Date: 17 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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