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River Ice Monitoring

Ice build-up on large rivers poses serious challenges for water resource management, hydropower generation and flood damage prevention. In order to assess flood risk and mitigate its impacts, C‑CORE monitors build-up of ice covers throughout the ice season, with particular emphasis on the freeze-up and break-up periods.   Information on the location, extent and structure of ice covers must be updated frequently; however, in remote or inaccessible areas this can be difficult and costly to reliably obtain using field-based and aerial surveillance.  

Above: Ice cover forming on a river in Northern Canada 

Under these conditions, satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery has emerged as the tool of choice for collecting information on river ice build-up over large areas. C-CORE provides satellite-derived river ice products that contain information about the location and extent of river ice changes in near real-time. This information is typically used by decision makers in conjunction with other data sources to assess the level of threat posed by ice jams and to facilitate early warning and risk mitigation.  Our river ice products can be provided world-wide and image acquisition is independent of sunlight and weather conditions and product delivery can be customized to meet user’s requirements.