Numerical modeling of ice control on the Albany River, Ontario, Canada

Author(s) I.M.Knack, J.Shaw, J.Groeneveld, J.McHenry, S.T.Lavender, Chief L.Friday
Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering - 2024


The Kashechewan First Nation (KFN) community is located on a floodplain of the north branch of the Albany River, on the west coast of James Bay. Each spring, the community faces the uncertain prospect of evacuation due to ice-jam flooding, the most severe of which occurred in 2006. A study was conducted to develop long-term options for reducing the flood risk to the community, which included dams, dykes, pier and weir type ice-control structures, and conveyance channels. This paper presents a numerical model study on the Albany River in Ontario, Canada to develop ice control as a potential means for mitigating ice-jam flooding at the KFN community using the two-dimensional ice dynamics model DynaRICE. A method was developed to simulate pier type ice-control structures within the model such that the physical channel conditions, flow conditions, and combinations of ice control could be evaluated. The model allowed detailed simulation of ice retention, resulting inundation, and the forces on the individual piers. To optimize the design of the piers, including pier spacing, height, and size, various combinations of ice, flow, and pier conditions were simulated. Numerical modeling facilitated a comparative examination of flood risk reduction to the community from the various ice control options.