Winter water temperatures and ice prevention by air bubbling

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AuthorSearch for:
Journal titleEngineering Journal
Pages7984; # of pages: 6
Subjectice removal; ice; prevention; temperature; water; air; glace (gel); prevention; temperature; eau; air
AbstractAir bubbling systems prevent ice formation on the surface of a body of water because the warm water at depth can be brought to the surface by rising air bubbles. The amount of heat available in the water must be known to calculate the thermal reserve. Lake temperatures are largely controlled by convection overturning, but fresh water has a maximum density at 39.2 degrees F which affects circulation and the resulting temperature. Canada's lakes are mostly of the temperate type and therefore have two turnover periods, in spring and in fall. Wind action is also very important. River water temperatures are nearly the same throughout because of mixing. Although sea water air bubbling systems have been used, careful studies must be made to ensure ice can be melted by this method. Maximum density does not occur at 39.2 degrees F, hence convection mixing may occur until ice forms at the surface. To design an air bubbling system to prevent ice formation the thermal regime of the fresh water body and its surroundings must be known. The area of influence of each jet and the size of the hole must also be known. Design studies so far have been mostly empirical. No engineering procedure has been developed. Some experimental studies have been reported and details are given of the flow patterns of various orifices for use in ice prevention at the Grand Coulee Dam. Work needs to be carried out on how the heat stored at depth under an ice surface can be used efficiently to prevent further ice growth.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberNRCC 6183
NPARC number20374723
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Record identifiere8bb9c2f-5ed5-4d32-85fb-086bced7edb3
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2017-06-29
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