Exposed Anchor Ice on the Kananaskis River

Kananaskis ice 2012

Exposed Anchor Ice on the Kananaskis River, AB (Canada), Nov. 26, 2012

Anchor ice occurs frequently on the Kananaskis River – it forms when suspended frazil ice adheres to the stream bed.  Because the river is regulated for hydro-power production, water levels vary substantially over the day, each day.  This not only leaves anchor ice exposed at low flow (as we see to the right of the flowing water here), often it also leaves icicles hanging along the banks.  MSc students Vincent and Stefan found this ice dam on the Kananaskis River in November 2012.

(Photo by Vincent McFarlane: Canon PowerShot SD4500, f/3.4,  ISO – 200, FL 6mm, 1/500 sec. exposure duration)

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About Faye Hicks

I am a professor emeritus, civil engineer, animal lover and writer.
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2 Responses to Exposed Anchor Ice on the Kananaskis River

  1. Tommi L. says:

    Interesting photo. Have you collaborated with an ecologist to see what such ramping means for the fish? As we now know from fish biology side of things that at least some species are ecologically adapted to live happily UNDER such mass of anchor ice in winter (provided there is sufficient hyporheic flow, or perhaps little flow through the ice mass), have someone looked at whether fish may be trapped in the exposed aream and what happens during the minimum flows. I predict not very good! Brings us to question minumum winter flows, and the winter ramping rate and timing… these are pretty interesting questions. Great blog BTW,

  2. Faye Hicks says:

    Thanks Tommi! There are biologists studying this stream – though not much research has addressed the winter situation. Hint, hint! 😉

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