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Patterns of River Breakup Timing and Sequencing, Hay River, NWT Open Access


Other title
Flood forecasting
Ice jam
Hay River
River ice breakup
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kovachis, Nadia
Supervisor and department
Hicks, Faye (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Loewen, Mark (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Kresta, Suzanne (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
River ice breakup and associated flooding are realities for many northern communities. This is certainly the case in Hay River, NWT, which is located at the junction of the Hay River and Great Slave Lake. Hay River experiences a wide range of spring river ice scenarios; from docile thermal melt outs, to severe ice jams resulting in life-threatening, disastrous flooding. This study involved the analysis of five seasons of aerial and time-lapse photographs, water level measurements and hydrometeorologic data. This work also compiled an extended historical record of breakup in the Hay River delta, which was compared against the field data gathered for this study; combining local, experiential knowledge with scientific observation into a cohesive description of breakup. This will be used to advise the non-technical flood watch community on the patterns of timing and sequencing of breakup, which is critical for evacuation planning.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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