Indentation and Splitting of Freshwater Ice Floes

[+] Author and Article Information
D. S. Sodhi

U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755-1290

S. N. Chin

Institute for Marine Dynamics, National Research Council of Canada, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3T5

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 117(1), 63-69 (Feb 01, 1995) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826992 History: Received April 28, 1994; Revised August 11, 1994; Online December 17, 2007


Small-scale indentation and floe-splitting experiments were conducted on columnar ice floes of various sizes and at different speeds. During low-speed indentation (0.2–8 mm s−1 ), the ice floes always split apart, while at higher indentation speeds (> 100 mm s−1 ) they did not. The reason is attributed to differences in the process of deformation and failure. At low speed, a large zone of microcracked ice forms in front of the indentor. Development of compressive stresses in the microcracked ice zone leads to buildup of transverse forces that drive crack propagation. These zones of microcracked ice are not observed during high-speed indentation. Rather, the ice fails by continuous crushing. The theoretical effective pressure required to split an ice floe, as predicted by Bhat (1988), agrees to some extent with those measured during experiments.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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