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Open AccessArticle

Impacts of Hydro-Climatically Varying Years on Ice Growth and Decay in a Subarctic River

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Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistokatu 2, P.O. Box 111, 80101 Joensuu, Finland
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Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, 20014 Turku, Finland
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Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Karlstad University, 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden
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Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102058
Received: 9 August 2019 / Revised: 27 September 2019 / Accepted: 29 September 2019 / Published: 2 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Predicting the future changes in river ice development and impacts on seasonal sediment transport requires more in-depth examination of present river ice cover growth processes. This paper therefore investigates: (1) the impacts of hydro-climatically varying years on river ice development in a Scandinavian subarctic meandering river and (2) the accuracy of existing analytical models for predicting ice thickness growth and ice decay. Stefan’s ice growth equation (version by Michel et al.) and Bilello’s ice decay equation are applied to varying hydro-climatic conditions experienced in the years 2013–2019. Estimates from these equations are compared with observed field conditions such as ice thicknesses, ice clearance dates and freeze-thaw days. Overall, the equations were most accurate in the winter of 2016–2017 when the maximum mid-winter snow thickness value was high, the number of freeze-thaw days was the closest to the long-term average of northern Scandinavia, and the rate of thermal snow-melt in the subsequent spring was slow. The equations would need to be adjusted to take into account expected future changes to conditions such as shorter winters, less snow formation and increased frequency of air temperatures crossing 0 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: river ice processes; thermal ice decay; thermal ice growth; freeze-thaw; subarctic river ice processes; thermal ice decay; thermal ice growth; freeze-thaw; subarctic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lotsari, E.; Lind, L.; Kämäri, M. Impacts of Hydro-Climatically Varying Years on Ice Growth and Decay in a Subarctic River. Water 2019, 11, 2058.

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