The Effect of Floe Size on the Flow of Ice Covers through Converging Channels

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TypeTechnical Report
SubjectFloe; Ice
AbstractThe present report describes work done to examine the effect of floe size on the drift of ice covers. Flow through a converging channel is used as a test case. The testing examined the drift of continuous ice covers as well as ice covers consisting of assemblies of distinct deformable floes. The results showed that the drift of all ice cover types through converging channels can be represented by a relationship between two nondimensional variables. The first variable is a non-dimensional drift velocity (normalized by the free drift velocity). The second variable represents the ratio between the environmental driving force (e.g. wind drag) and the strength of the ice cover. The results showed that the existence of distinct floes in the ice cover slows the drift through constrictions. The decrease of the drift velocity becomes more pronounced with increasing floe sizes. Moreover, the effects of floe size also become apparent for relatively small environmental driving forces. For higher forces (e.g. higher wind velocities), even large floes are pushed through the constrictions. The present approach proved to be capable of quantifying the influence of floe size on the drift. The present work can thus be extended to serve as a basis for developing forecast products to guide the prediction of the drift of ice covers containing relatively large floes. Such products will require examining a wider range of geometries, floe sizes and ice properties. The report suggests that analysis of available records can be used to provide forecast plots for specific locations of interest.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Canadian Hydraulics Centre; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberCHC-TR-077
NPARC number17506211
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Record identifiera2a8275f-1844-45a9-a79c-81dcdda441fa
Record created2011-03-27
Record modified2016-10-03
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