Numerical modeling of river ice processes on the Lower Nelson River

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Malenchak, Jarrod
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Water resource infrastructure in cold regions of the world can be significantly impacted by the existence of river ice. Major engineering concerns related to river ice include ice jam flooding, the design and operation of hydropower facilities and other hydraulic structures, water supplies, as well as ecological, environmental, and morphological effects. The use of numerical simulation models has been identified as one of the most efficient means by which river ice processes can be studied and the effects of river ice be evaluated. The continued advancement of these simulation models will help to develop new theories and evaluate potential mitigation alternatives for these ice issues. In this thesis, a literature review of existing river ice numerical models, of anchor ice formation and modeling studies, and of aufeis formation and modeling studies is conducted. A high level summary of the two-dimensional CRISSP numerical model is presented as well as the developed freeze-up model with a focus specifically on the anchor ice and aufeis growth processes. This model includes development in the detailed heat transfer calculations, an improved surface ice mass exchange model which includes the rapids entrainment process, and an improved dry bed treatment model along with the expanded anchor ice and aufeis growth model. The developed sub-models are tested in an ideal channel setting as somewhat of a model confirmation. A case study of significant anchor ice and aufeis growth on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba, Canada, will be the primary field test case for the anchor ice and aufeis model. A second case study on the same river will be used to evaluate the surface ice components of the model in a field setting. The results from these cases studies will be used to highlight the capabilities and deficiencies in the numerical model and to identify areas of further research and model development.
river ice, anchor ice, aufeis, numerical modeling, Nelson River, Sundance Rapids