Innovative Tools for Monitoring Conditions Leading to River Ice Jams on Saint-François Rivers in Quebec, Canada

Authors: Valérie Plante Lévesque*, INRS, Marc-Antoine Persent, INRS, Yves Gauthier, INRS, Tahiana Ratsimbazafy, INRS, Simon Tolszczuk-Leclerc, Natural Ressources Canada, Karem Chokmani, INRS
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Remote Sensing, Cryosphere
Keywords: Ice jams, river monitoring, Cryospheric hazards
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Plaza Court 6, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Ice is a fundamental parameter in high latitudes and altitudes rivers. Each year, ice is recorded on almost every Canadian freshwater body. Although winter is culturally considered a less dynamic season since snow and ice cover the landscape, many processes are active especially during spring break up. For instance, river ice jams floods are the most damaging water-related hazards in cold regions. They remain largely unpredictable at regional scale, even if site-specific efforts have been made to prevent them. The impact of hydrometeorological conditions on river ice breakup has been studied by many. Data on in situ ice conditions is, however, rarely considered. We tackle this problem using remote sensing. The methodology involves 1) mapping river ice from radar and optical images using data fusion 2) identifying ice sections prone to break up and 3) acquiring spatial data (location, extension) during the ice jam event with an UAV. This presentation will include a case study example for the 2019 Saint-François Rivers ice jam events. This study is part of the DAVE (which stands in French for Dispositif d’Alerte et vigilance des embâcles de glace) and aims to improve ice jam risk management across Canada.

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