Northern River Ice Regimes

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, South Slave Region

Tags: physical sciences, flooding, ice thickness, river ice, ice jams, hydro-electric, ice growth

Principal Investigator: Sherstone, David A. (12)
Licence Number: 12280
Organization: Science Institute of the NWT
Licensed Year(s): 1993 1992 1991 1990 1988
Issued: Jan 01, 1992
Project Team: Norm McCowan, Les Kutny

Objective(s): (1) To monitor rates of ice growth and decay, and to observe maximum ice thickness achieved each winter; (2) to determine the timing of maximum thickness for predicting impacts on ice regime by upstream hydro-electric developments; (3) to assist the Hay River flood monitoring committee in mitigating flood damage from spring ice jams; and (4) to develop a database of ice values for use in long-term climate impact studies.

Project Description: Ice gauges are installed on river ice once the ice is strong enough to support researchers (20 gauges for the Mackenzie Delta and 15 gauges for Hay River). These gauges are read every 10 days to obtain total ice thickness, white ice thickness and snow depth. From these data, the rates of ice growth and decay can be calculated, and the approximate date of maximum ice thickness can be determined.