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Ice Forces on Structures

Jeffrey Havelin, PE

Any structure placed in an environment where the presence of ice is a hazard to its integrity and stability needs to be designed to withstand the forces generated by ice moving against it. A designer should also consider how the cold might affect the intended operations of a structure; because freezing of ice may hinder some of the normal warm weather operations.

The guidelines presented in this (four-hour) course are intended for structures placed in inland waters, e.g., lakes, rivers, and coastal waters.

The methodology given in this course for estimating ice forces is based on the results of theoretical and experimental research in ice mechanics and measurements of ice forces in the field. Most recently, our understanding of processes active during crushing of ice at various indentation speeds has been increased. Data on measured ice forces on large structures have recently been published. Except for the recommended values of effective pressure, the Corps guidelines for ice forces on structures are almost the same as those of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO 1994), which in turn were adopted from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA 1988, 2000). Montgomery et al. (1984) provides the background information for the recommendations in CSA (1988). The CSA (2000) and the AASHTO (1994) codes consider dynamic and static loads on bridge piers located in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The dynamic loads develop when moving ice fails against a pier during spring breakup, or when currents and wind move ice sheets past piers at other times of the year. The static loads are generated by thermal expansion or contraction of the ice and by fluctuations in the water levels.

This course is based entirely on “CHAPTER 6 Ice Force on Structures ” Publication (EM 1110-2-1612) published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials. You will be quizzed on the attached document in its entirety.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.