Hay River Ice Jam Study
Principal Investigator: Hicks, Faye E (12)
Licence Number: 14099
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Issued: Jan 26, 2007
Project Team: Robyn Andrishak (Research Engineer, University of Alberta), David Keller (Research Assistant, University of Alberta), Chris Krath (Technologist, University of Alberta), Yuntong She (Ph.D. Student, University of Alberta), Karen Dow (Ph.D. Student, University of Alberta), Juan Abarca (M.Sc. Student, University of Alberta)

Objective(s): The objective of the research is to study ice processes on the Hay River in order to develop predictive computer models. The techniques have the potential to model effects of berming and channel infilling on ice jam occurrence and severity. The ultimately aim is to provide flood warning tools and predict impacts of development and climate variability on ice jams.

Project Description: The objective of the research is to study ice processes on the Hay River in order to develop predictive computer models. The techniques have the potential to model effects of berming and channel infilling on ice jam occurrence and severity. The ultimately aim is to provide flood warning tools and predict impacts of development and climate variability on ice jams.

In late winter ice thickness will be measured by drilling, and snow depths measured with a rod. During breakup, digital photographs and video will be taken from both air and ground. Water and ice levels will be measured before and after ice movements using standard survey instruments (surveyor's rod and level, computerized total station and GPS). In summer a refining of the 2005 river bed survey will be done, particularly in the vicinity of the delta. Channel surveying would involve conventional surveying on the banks (total station and survey rod), wading, the use of a boat mounted depth sounder, and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to determine water depth and velocity. During fall freezeup the field team may conduct similar measurements.
Relevant data is also collected by the Town Flood Watch Committee. Members of the local community have been invited to accompany researchers on observational flights documenting breakup, and have the opportunity to provide input to the study.
Ground transportation will be by vehicle and boat. A local guide and field assistants will be hired to assist with surveys.
The study will be conducted along the Hay River from Enterprise (60° 33' N, 116°08'W) to the Town of Hay River (60° 49' N, 115°47'W).