Cutting Ice on the Red River

Ice Cutting on the Red River, Manitoba (Canada), Feb/Mar, 2012

Over the past several years an ice jam mitigation program has been in place on the Red River in Manitoba.  A range of equipment is used, including ice cutters and Amphibex units (see photos below).  Prior to breakup, the ice cutters ‘score’ multiple lines in the ice, working their way from Netley Cut to Selkirk along the centre of the Red River.  This allows the Amphibex units which follow the ice cutters to break through the ice more easily.  The Amphibex will use its bucket to pull itself onto unbroken ice, and its self-weight will cause the ice to break.  What is left is a line of broken ice that extends for tens of kilometres along the river.  Progress is relatively slow – the entire operation typically takes weeks to complete.

(photos by Shawn Clark, University of Manitoba: Olympus StylusTough-6020 – Photo 1 (March 16, 2012):  f/16, ISO – 250, FL 13 mm, 1/160 sec. exposure time; Photo 2 (Ice Cutter – Feb. 15, 2012): f/4.9, ISO – 200, FL 9 mm, 1/50 sec. exposure time; Photo 3 (Amphibex – Feb. 27, 2012): f/5.9, ISO – 80, FL 25 mm, 1/1000 sec. exposure time.)

About Faye Hicks

I am a professor emeritus, civil engineer, animal lover and writer.
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