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Review of Ice-Control Methods at Lock 8, Welland Canal, Port Colborne, Ontario

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Technical Report

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U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Hanover United States

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This effort reviews the existing procedures and equipment used at Lock 8 on the Welland Ship Canal, Ontario, Canada, to control ice and to reduce the possibility of ice causing a shipping vessel to get stuck or jammed in the lock chamber. The lock uses several methods, including an air curtain to hold ice above the lock, bubblers and mechanical means to reduce the ice accumulation on the lock walls, and bubblers to flush ice from the gate recesses. A review of all of these methods shows that mostly they have been effective, though some recommended modifications include reducing the air-curtain and bubblers nozzle size to make the flow across the manifolds more uniform. The only system that the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation might consider replacing entirely is the blaster bubblers, which are unreliable and ineffective. This report details recommended improvements to ice control at Lock 8, including a secondary air curtain below the existing air curtain, a manifold recess bubbler, and methods to further reduce the quantity of ice passing through the breakwater and bypassing ice down the weir channel. Further work is required to determine feasibility and the final design for each of these recommended changes.

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