Use of dust to advance the break-up of ice on lakes and rivers

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ConferenceProceedings of the 1963 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Snow Conference: 1963,
Pages3160; # of pages: 30
Subjectdust; ice removal; lakes; rivers
AbstractPublished information has been used as a basis for assessing the feasibility of using dust to accelerate the melting of ice covers in various regions of Canada. Applying dust to an ice cover or snow surface decreases its albedo and increases short wave radiation absorbtion. An increase in surface temperature also increases the heat loss by long wave radiation, convection and sublimation and hence if the air temperature is too low no melting will occur. This places a natural limit on the time that the breakup can be advanced by dusting. Results indicate that breakup can be advanced by two weeks in southern Canada and by about four weeks in northern Canada. Yearly variations will occur based on air temperature and ice thicknesses and incoming short-wave radiation. The amount the albedo of a surface is reduced by dusting is directly proportional to the actual area of the surface covered, which varies inversely as the average grain diameter. Therefore finer dust is better, but the removal action of wind and water places a lower limit on particle size. Average grain size diameters ranging from 0. 1 to 2.5 mm are practical. The maximum amount the albedo can be reduced depends on how dark the dusting materials are. Naturally occurring substances such as sand, soil, coal dust and soot have an albedo of about 20 percent. Cost will probably determine whether dusting is practical at a given site and hence sufficient information to assess the cost is a main requirement. Cost depends on the availability of materials, equipment and spreading techniques. Experience with the use of dust should involve full scale field trials.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number7725
NPARC number20375270
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Record identifier71b53237-79ab-4c8d-8030-94e21a8f2fc1
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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