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Special Issue "River and Lake Ice Processes—Impacts of Freshwater Ice on Aquatic Ecosystems in a Changing Globe"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5 Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 001 (306) 966-6174
Interests: surface water quality modelling; fluvial geomorphology; global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses; hydrological and hydraulic modelling; nutrient transport modelling; modelling river ice processes
Guest Editor
Dr. Helen Baulch

Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 3H5 Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-306-966-2549
Fax: +1-306-966-1193
Interests: nitrogen; phosphorus; greenhouse gas; primary productivity; ice cover; eutrophication; agriculture; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most freshwater aquatic ecosystems have focused on open-water conditions, during spring, summer, and autumn. Studies in winter during ice-covered conditions are sparse due to the logistic difficulties of sampling during freezing weather and the assumption that these ecosystems are biologically ‘inactive’ during winter. There is growing evidence, however, that ice conditions can have strong impacts on the flora, fauna, and water quality of freshwater systems, dependent on the severity and duration of the winter season. The magnitude of winter conditions and the duration of the ice-covered period can also set the stage of the biological succession of flora, fauna and water-quality constituents in the subsequent spring and summer seasons (e.g., higher probability of early algal blooms with earlier ice-off dates). Climate change and changes in the type and degree of anthropogenic impacts will also influence the ice regime and hence the ecosystems of northern freshwater systems. This Special Issue provides a venue to report new findings in field-based and modelling research to highlight the importance of the ice regime and ice-induced hydraulic regime of rivers and lakes on their aquatic ecosystems.

Dr. Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt
Dr. Helen Baulch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • aquatic ecosystems

  • field sampling

  • ice regime

  • modelling

  • northern lakes and rivers

  • water quality

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
River and Lake Ice Processes—Impacts of Freshwater Ice on Aquatic Ecosystems in a Changing Globe
Water 2018, 10(11), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111586
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue focuses on the effects of ice cover on surface water bodies, specifically rivers and lakes. Background information on the motivation of addressing this topic is first introduced with some selected references highlighting key points in this research field. A summary [...] Read more.
This special issue focuses on the effects of ice cover on surface water bodies, specifically rivers and lakes. Background information on the motivation of addressing this topic is first introduced with some selected references highlighting key points in this research field. A summary and synthesis of the eleven contributions is then provided, focusing on three aspects that provide the structure of the special issue: Physical processes, water quality, and sustainability. We have placed these contributions in the broader context of the field and identified selected knowledge gaps which impede our ability both to understand current conditions, and to understand the likely consequences of changing winters to the diversity of freshwater ecosystems subject to seasonal ice cover. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
How Does Changing Ice-Out Affect Arctic versus Boreal Lakes? A Comparison Using Two Years with Ice-Out that Differed by More Than Three Weeks
Water 2018, 10(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010078
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2008 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The timing of lake ice-out has advanced substantially in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, however the effects of ice-out timing on lake properties and how they vary regionally remain unclear. Using data from two inter-annual monitoring datasets for a set of three [...] Read more.
The timing of lake ice-out has advanced substantially in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, however the effects of ice-out timing on lake properties and how they vary regionally remain unclear. Using data from two inter-annual monitoring datasets for a set of three Arctic lakes and one boreal lake, we compared physical, chemical and phytoplankton metrics from two years in which ice-out timing differed by at least three weeks. Our results revealed regional differences in lake responses during early compared to late ice-out years. With earlier ice-out, Arctic lakes had deeper mixing depths and the boreal lake had a shallower mixing depth, suggesting differing patterns in the influence of the timing of ice-out on the length of spring turnover. Differences in nutrient concentrations and dissolved organic carbon between regions and ice-out years were likely driven by changes in precipitation and permafrost thaw. Algal biomass was similar across ice-out years, while cell densities of key Cyclotella sensu lato taxa were strongly linked to thermal structure changes in the Arctic lakes. Our research provides evidence that Arctic and boreal regions differ in lake response in early and late ice-out years, however ultimately a combination of important climate factors such as solar insolation, air temperature, precipitation, and, in the Arctic, permafrost thaw, are key drivers of the observed responses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Historical Trends, Drivers, and Future Projections of Ice Phenology in Small North Temperate Lakes in the Laurentian Great Lakes Region
Water 2018, 10(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010070
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 7 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Lake ice phenology (timing of ice breakup and freeze up) is a sensitive indicator of climate. We acquired time series of lake ice breakup and freeze up, local weather conditions, and large-scale climate oscillations from 1981–2015 for seven lakes in northern Wisconsin, USA, [...] Read more.
Lake ice phenology (timing of ice breakup and freeze up) is a sensitive indicator of climate. We acquired time series of lake ice breakup and freeze up, local weather conditions, and large-scale climate oscillations from 1981–2015 for seven lakes in northern Wisconsin, USA, and two lakes in Ontario, Canada. Multiple linear regression models were developed to understand the drivers of lake ice phenology. We used projected air temperature and precipitation from 126 climate change scenarios to forecast the day of year of ice breakup and freeze up in 2050 and 2070. Lake ice melted 5 days earlier and froze 8 days later over the past 35 years. Warmer spring and winter air temperatures contributed to earlier ice breakup; whereas warmer November temperatures delayed lake freeze. Lake ice breakup is projected to be 13 days earlier on average by 2070, but could vary by 3 days later to 43 days earlier depending upon the degree of climatic warming by late century. Similarly, the timing of lake freeze up is projected to be delayed by 11 days on average by 2070, but could be 1 to 28 days later. Shortened seasonality of ice cover by 24 days could increase risk of algal blooms, reduce habitat for coldwater fisheries, and jeopardize survival of northern communities reliant on ice roads. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Ice Effects on Indices for Hydrological Alteration in Flow Regimes
Water 2017, 9(12), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9120914
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2671 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preserving hydrological variability is important when developing environmental flow regimes, and a number of tools have been developed to support this process. A commonly applied method is the index of hydrological alteration (IHA), which describes a set of indices that can be used [...] Read more.
Preserving hydrological variability is important when developing environmental flow regimes, and a number of tools have been developed to support this process. A commonly applied method is the index of hydrological alteration (IHA), which describes a set of indices that can be used to assess changes in flow regimes. In cold climate regions, river ice can have large effects on flow regimes through frazil and anchor ice formation, ice cover formation, and ice break-up, and the impact of this is usually not included in the commonly used indexes. However, to understand the effect of ice formation and the break-up on the flow regime, the ice effects on the hydrology should be considered when assessing winter alteration indexes. This paper looks at the effects of river ice on winter flow conditions using data from Norwegian rivers, and discusses these effects in relation to hydrological variability. This paper also shows how indexes can be used to classify ice-induced variability, how this should be used to avoid ice-induced effects in the current analysis, and how this can be combined with the current indices to improve the winter flow regime classification. The findings from this paper show that frazil- and anchor-induced raises of the water level have a large impact on the perceived flow in winter, producing higher flow and deeper water than what the open water conditions discharge could do. Corresponding to this, winter lows connected to ice-induced high flows at other locations are also common. Finally, issues related to the assessment of the temporal and spatial effects of ice formation are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Updated Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics for Simulating Bending and Compression Failure Progress of Ice
Water 2017, 9(11), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110882
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 12 November 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5744 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, an updated Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method based on the Simplified Finite Difference Interpolation scheme (SPH_SFDI) is presented to simulate the failure process of ice. The Drucker–Prager model is embedded into the SPH code to simulate the four point bending [...] Read more.
In this paper, an updated Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method based on the Simplified Finite Difference Interpolation scheme (SPH_SFDI) is presented to simulate the failure process of ice. The Drucker–Prager model is embedded into the SPH code to simulate the four point bending and uniaxial compression failure of ice. The cohesion softening elastic–plastic model is also used in the SPH_SFDI framework. To validate the proposed modeling approach, the numerical results of SPH_SFDI are compared with the standard SPH and the experimental data. The good agreement demonstrated that the proposed SPH_SFDI method including the elastic–plastic cohesion softening Drucker–Prager failure model can provide a useful numerical tool for simulating failure progress of the ice in practical field. It is also shown that the SPH_SFDI can significantly improve the capability and accuracy for simulating ice bending and compression failures as compared with the original SPH scheme. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Winter Environmental Continuum of Two Watersheds
Water 2017, 9(5), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9050337
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8006 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the winter ecosystemic behavior of two distinct watersheds. In cold-temperate regions, the hydrological signal and environmental parameters can fluctuate dramatically over short periods of time, causing major impacts to aquatic habitats. This paper presents the results of the 2011–2012 winter [...] Read more.
This paper examines the winter ecosystemic behavior of two distinct watersheds. In cold-temperate regions, the hydrological signal and environmental parameters can fluctuate dramatically over short periods of time, causing major impacts to aquatic habitats. This paper presents the results of the 2011–2012 winter field campaign in streams and rivers near Quebec City, QC, Canada. The objective was to quantify water quantity and quality parameters and their environmental connectivity from headwater creeks above to the larger rivers below over the entire freeze-up, mid-winter and breakup periods with a view toward exploring the watershed continuum. The paper presents how aquatic pulses (water level, discharge, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity, measured at seven sites on an hourly basis along channels of different sizes and orders) evolve through the aquatic environment. Ice conditions and the areal ice coverage were also evaluated (on a daily time step along each instrumented channel). Some findings of the investigation revealed that water temperatures remained well above 0 °C during winter in headwater channels, that dissolved oxygen levels during winter were relatively high, but with severe depletions prior to and during breakup in specific settings, that high conductivity spikes occurred during runoff events, that annual turbidity extremes were measured in the presence of ice and that dynamic ice cover breakup events have the potential to generate direct or indirect mortality among aquatic species and to dislodge the largest rocks in the channel. The authors believe that the environmental impact of a number of winter fluvial processes needs to be further investigated, and the relative significance of the winter period in the annual environmental cycle should be given additional attention. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RIVICE—A Non-Proprietary, Open-Source, One-Dimensional River-Ice Model
Water 2017, 9(5), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9050314
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 12 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 2 May 2017
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, no river ice models are available that are free and open source software (FOSS), which can be a hindrance to advancement in the field of modelling river ice processes. This paper introduces a non-proprietary (conditional), open-source option to the scientific and engineering [...] Read more.
Currently, no river ice models are available that are free and open source software (FOSS), which can be a hindrance to advancement in the field of modelling river ice processes. This paper introduces a non-proprietary (conditional), open-source option to the scientific and engineering community, the River Ice Model (RIVICE). RIVICE is a one-dimensional, fully-dynamic wave model that mimics key river ice processes such as ice generation, ice transport, ice cover progression (shoving, submergence and juxtapositioning) and ice jam formation, details of which are highlighted in the text. Three ice jam events at Fort McMurray, Alberta, along the Athabasca River, are used as case studies to illustrate the steps of model setup, model calibration and results interpretation. A local sensitivity analysis reveals the varying effects of parameter and boundary conditions on backwater flood levels as a function of the location of ice jam lodgment along the river reach and the location along the ice jam cover. Some limitations of the model and suggestions for future research and model development conclude the paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Remote Sensing Data to Parameterize Ice Jam Modeling for a Northern Inland Delta
Water 2017, 9(5), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9050306
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 23 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (7659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Slave River is a northern river in Canada, with ice being an important component of its flow regime for at least half of the year. During the spring breakup period, ice jams and ice-jam flooding can occur in the Slave River Delta, [...] Read more.
The Slave River is a northern river in Canada, with ice being an important component of its flow regime for at least half of the year. During the spring breakup period, ice jams and ice-jam flooding can occur in the Slave River Delta, which is of benefit for the replenishment of moisture and sediment required to maintain the ecological integrity of the delta. To better understand the ice jam processes that lead to flooding, as well as the replenishment of the delta, the one-dimensional hydraulic river ice model RIVICE was implemented to simulate and explore ice jam formation in the Slave River Delta. Incoming ice volume, a crucial input parameter for RIVICE, was determined by the novel approach of using MODIS space-born remote sensing imagery. Space-borne and air-borne remote sensing data were used to parameterize the upstream ice volume available for ice jamming. Gauged data was used to complement modeling calibration and validation. HEC-RAS, another one-dimensional hydrodynamic model, was used to determine ice volumes required for equilibrium jams and the upper limit of ice volume that a jam can sustain, as well as being used as a threshold for the volumes estimated by the dynamic ice jam simulations using RIVICE. Parameter sensitivity analysis shows that morphological and hydraulic properties have great impacts on the ice jam length and water depth in the Slave River Delta. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Seasonal Variation in Sediment Oxygen Demand in a Northern Chained River-Lake System
Water 2017, 9(4), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9040254
Received: 21 January 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) contributes immensely to hypolimnetic oxygen depletion. SOD rates thus play a key role in aquatic ecosystems’ health predictions. These rates, however, can be very expensive to sample. Moreover, determination of SOD rates by sediment diagenesis modeling may require very [...] Read more.
Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) contributes immensely to hypolimnetic oxygen depletion. SOD rates thus play a key role in aquatic ecosystems’ health predictions. These rates, however, can be very expensive to sample. Moreover, determination of SOD rates by sediment diagenesis modeling may require very large datasets, or may not be easily adapted to complex aquatic systems. Water quality modeling for northern aquatic systems is emerging and little is known about the seasonal trends of SOD rates for complex aquatic systems. In this study, the seasonal trend of SOD rates for a northern chained river-lake system has been assessed through the calibration of a water quality model. Model calibration and validation showed good agreement with field measurements. Results of the study show that, in the riverine section, SOD20 rates decreased from 1.9 to 0.79 g/m2/day as urban effluent traveled along the river while a SOD20 rate of 2.2 g/m2/day was observed in the lakes. Seasonally, the SOD20 rates in summer were three times higher than those in winter for both river and lakes. The results of the study provide insights to the seasonal trend of SOD rates especially for northern rivers and lakes and can, thus, be useful for more complex water quality modeling studies in the region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Climate Change on the Water Quality of a Regulated Prairie River
Water 2017, 9(3), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9030199
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (3737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flows along the upper Qu’Appelle River are expected to increase in the future via increased discharge from Lake Diefenbaker to meet the demands of increased agricultural and industrial activity and population growth in southern Saskatchewan. This increased discharge and increased air temperature due [...] Read more.
Flows along the upper Qu’Appelle River are expected to increase in the future via increased discharge from Lake Diefenbaker to meet the demands of increased agricultural and industrial activity and population growth in southern Saskatchewan. This increased discharge and increased air temperature due to climate change are both expected to have an impact on the water quality of the river. The Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP7) was used to model current and future water quality of the upper Qu’Appelle River. The model was calibrated and validated to characterize the current state of the water quality of the river. The model was then used to predict water quality [nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) concentrations and oxygen dynamics] for the years 2050–2055 and 2080–2085. The modelling results indicate that global warming will result in a decrease in ice thickness, a shorter ice cover period, and decreased nutrient concentrations in 2050 or 2080 relative to 2010, with a greater decrease of nutrient concentrations in open water. In contrast to the effect of warmer water temperatures, increased flow through water management may cause increases in ammonium, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen concentrations and decreases in orthophosphate concentrations in summer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Dissolved Oxygen/Sediment Oxygen Demand under Ice in a Shallow Eutrophic Prairie Reservoir
Water 2017, 9(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020131
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dissolved oxygen is an influential factor of aquatic ecosystem health. Future predictions of oxygen deficits are paramount for maintaining water quality. Oxygen demands depend greatly on a waterbody’s attributes. A large sediment–water interface relative to volume means sediment oxygen demand has greater influence [...] Read more.
Dissolved oxygen is an influential factor of aquatic ecosystem health. Future predictions of oxygen deficits are paramount for maintaining water quality. Oxygen demands depend greatly on a waterbody’s attributes. A large sediment–water interface relative to volume means sediment oxygen demand has greater influence in shallow systems. In shallow, ice-covered waterbodies the potential for winter anoxia is high. Water quality models offer two options for modelling sediment oxygen demand: a zero-order constant rate, or a sediment diagenesis model. The constant rate is unrepresentative of a real system, yet a diagenesis model is difficult to parameterise and calibrate without data. We use the water quality model CE-QUAL-W2 to increase the complexity of a zero-order sediment compartment with limited data. We model summer and winter conditions individually to capture decay rates under-ice. Using a semi-automated calibration method, we find an annual pattern in sediment oxygen demand that follows the trend of chlorophyll-a concentrations in a shallow, eutrophic Prairie reservoir. We use chlorophyll-a as a proxy for estimation of summer oxygen demand and winter decay. We show that winter sediment oxygen demand is dependent on the previous summer’s maximum chlorophyll-a concentrations. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Sustainable Ice-Jam Flood Management for Socio-Economic and Socio-Ecological Systems
Water 2018, 10(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020135
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ice jams are critical components of the hydraulic regimes of rivers in cold regions. In addition to contributing to the maintenance of wetland ecology, including aquatic animals and waterfowl, ice jams provide essential moisture and nutrient replenishment to perched lakes and ponds in [...] Read more.
Ice jams are critical components of the hydraulic regimes of rivers in cold regions. In addition to contributing to the maintenance of wetland ecology, including aquatic animals and waterfowl, ice jams provide essential moisture and nutrient replenishment to perched lakes and ponds in northern inland deltas. However, river ice-jam flooding can have detrimental impacts on in-stream aquatic ecosystems, cause damage to property and infrastructure, and present hazards to riverside communities. In order to maintain sustainable communities and ecosystems, ice-jam flooding must be both mitigated and promoted. This study reviews various flood management strategies used worldwide, and points to the knowledge gaps in these strategies. The main objective of the paper is to provide a framework for a sustainable ice-jam flood management strategy in order to better protect riverine socio-economic and socio-ecological systems. Sustainable flood management must be a carefully adopted and integrated strategy that includes both economic and ecological perspectives in order to mitigate ice-jam flooding in riverside socio-economic systems, while at the same time promoting ice-jam flooding of riverine socio-ecological systems such as inland deltas. Full article
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