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Title: Dusting river ice with leaf mulch to aid in ice deterioration
Authors: Haehnel, Robert B.
Clark, Charles H.
Taylor, Susan.
Keywords: Dusting
Leaf mulch
River ice
Ice weakening
Ice breakups
Ice james
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Special report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 96-7.
Description: Technical report
Abstract: In an effort to find a low cost means of reducing ice jams on small rivers in New England, dusting with organic matter was field tested during the spring of 1993 and 1994. Test squares on a pond located at CRREL in Hanover, New Hampshire, were dusted with several materials to evaluate their effectiveness in accelerating snow melting and ice deterioration. Leaf mulch was included in the materials tested because, unlike other materials used in the past to weaken ice (e.g., fly ash or coal slag), leaves are naturally found in rivers and should not adversely affect aquatic organisms when applied in small quantities. It was found from these tests that the leaves perform about the same as the traditionally used dusting materials. To transfer what was learned at the pond tests to a field application, two rivers in Vermont, with a known history of ice jams, were dusted using leaf mulch during the spring of 1994. Since these sites were located on narrow rivers that wind through highly populated areas, aerial dusting was not possible. For these sites we used a hydroseeder to spread the leaves on the ice. Application of leaf mulch with a hydroseeder was found to be an efficient method of putting the leaves on the ice. After the rivers were dusted we had a heavy snowfall, and were not able to determine the effectiveness of the leaf mulch in melting the ice. Observations suggest, however, that the leaf mulch helped melt the overlying snow. More work is needed to determine the effectiveness of leaf mulch to weaken ice and how much ice weakening is necessary to reduce the severity of ice jams.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Special Report

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