IAHR Document Library

« Back to Library Homepage « Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Hydraulic...

Are Hydraulic Structures Designed to Handle Ice?

Author(s): Robert Ettema

Linked Author(s): Robert Ettema

Keywords: Ice; hydraulic structures; Weirs; spillways; dams; bridges

Abstract: The title question of this paper poses the question – Are hydraulic structures designed to handle ice? The answer to this question is “qualified “no”. Though progress certainly has been made, ice concerns remain inadequately addressed or the possibility of ice concerns being forgotten. This paper addresses the question in terms of spatial scales: molecular, hydraulic structure, and global. Water is a material whose behavior is dictated by its molecules in response to pressures and temperatures exerted at the scales of hydraulic structure and Earth. Also, this paper argues that the further the hydraulic structure is located towards the lower extents of so-called “cold regions” consideration of ice concerns decrease and are at risk of being forgotten. When a structure is at a high latitude (commonly subject to frigid conditions), ice is considered, but there may be no assurance that such consideration is included in design or operation of a hydraulic structure. Case-study examples of hydraulic structures and ice illustrate that failure or at risk of failure owing to ice and dynamic frigid weather conditions typically associated with ice in continental U.S.: a labyrinth weir, stepped spillway, stilling basin, dam structure, bridges, inverted siphons, water intakes, pumps, and turbines. For example, in the USA spillways usually follow design guidelines stipulated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The problems are especially severe for hydraulic structures that experience their highest discharges during Spring when snowmelt (often combined with rainfall) and ice-cover breakup influence flow.


Year: 2024

Copyright © 2024 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research. All rights reserved. | Terms and Conditions