Ice pressure

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Ice pressure is the pressure of the ice in a lake , the frozen sea or moving ice floes on structures or other structures in inland and coastal areas that are in contact with water. Ice pressure leads to a load for which the structure dimensioned must be. Possible structures are bridge piers , extraction towers, dolphins, locks, quay walls, dam walls, weirs, etc.

The greatest ice pressure generally occurs when the ice sheet heats up and expands in the process. The pressure depends on the thickness and compressive strength of the ice, the size of the ice surface, the size and speed of the temperature rise, the shape of the lake and the ice sheet covering it, the wind and wave movements as well as other influences.

Structures are measured against effects occurring at short notice or at longer intervals. Ice pressure is a changeable, temporary load that is not a permanent load. The size of the ice pressure to be applied is specified in standards.


  • Egon Wessels: Investigation of ice pressure / area dependency at Norströmsgrund lighthouse in winter 1988/89 , collateral: Ice forces against offshore structures; joint industry study. - Ice pressure forces on marine structures (HSVA-Report / E; Vol. 218). Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt , Hamburg 1991.