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What's a Frazil Ice Net?

Posted by Patrick Barry
on Feb 7, 2018

There’s been a lot of talk about frazil ice this winter in some parts of Canada, with the levels at their highest since 2009.

Did you know that Barry Cordage developed a Frazil Net System?


What is frazil?

Frazil ice is the collection of loose, randomly oriented ice crystals that can form in rivers, lakes and oceans. The formation process of frazil occurs when cold air (approximately -6 ° C or less) and water come into contact. This causes subcooling in the water, and as its concentration increases, frazil formation follows. Unlike ice, which generally floats, frazil does not have the same buoyancy and can be carried to the bottom or accumulate size as it flows through the waterbody. Thus, a stream without an iced cover is much more favorable for the formation of frazil than a waterbody with solid ice.

How does it affect us?

The accumulation of frazil can cause a complete blockage of a water inlet. Its accumulation on fences, underwater structures and hydroelectric turbines can cause serious problems for operators (blocked water intake, weight overload, flooding etc.).



Barry designs netting systems for the retention and accumulation of an ice cover which will reduce the likelihood of ice jams on urban rivers. During the frost period, these floating net systems allow the accumulation of suspended frazil under an iced cover in places where the current normally does not permit it. By using a netting system upstream from water intake structures such as hydroelectric and water treatment plants, the frazil ice can be accumulated in a centralized area, minimizing the loss of production caused when frazil enters the dams.

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Topics: Frazil, Frazil ice, Frazil net, frazil-ice-net-system