Numerous field studies show that mature first-year (FY) ridges consist of a solid ice consolidated layer (CL) below which is a keel of ice rubble. The CL is generally thicker than the ambient level ice. With the decrease in multi-year ice in the Arctic, FY ridges may become the controlling ice feature at many Arctic locations. In sub-Arctic regions ridges are smaller but they also usually control design ice loads. For vertical structures, ISO 19906 (Standard on Arctic Offshore Structures) suggests calculating the load due to crushing of the CL and adding this to the load to fail the keel. In ISO a formula is provided for the load to fail the keel on a vertical-face which assumes that the keel material has Mohr-Coulomb properties. No specific algorithms are given in ISO for FY ridge loads on sloping structures. The work described in this paper addresses this gap.
The study investigated three bounding methods and compared them with the measured loads due to FY ridges on Confederation Bridge (which has piers with upward breaking cones). The three bounding methods are: Model A; which assumes the CL breaks in bending and rides up as level ice and the keel load is calculated assuming a "dead wedge" is created on the slope which converts the slope into a vertical face against which the keel fails. This model can make use of the methods in ISO 19906 for calculating these two components and can be considered to be the implied "current ISO approach". Model B assumes that the CL layer fails in bending as "level ice" on an elastic foundation and rides up the slope with the accompaniment of additional ice rubble scooped-up from the sail and keel of the ridge. Model C assumes that the FY ridge can be idealized into an equivalent "solid ice" beam using composite beam theory. Then the beam on elastic foundation method, as used for solid ridges, is used to estimate breaking and clearing loads.
These various approaches are reviewed and the derived loads are compared to failure modes and measured loads from Confederation Bridge for selected events involving FY ridges. Based on these comparisons a hybrid of Models B and C is recommended and the paper gives the details of how to apply this method.
When used for example structures, the new model gives loads which are 40 – 50% lower than the current approach implied in ISO 19906. The method can be adapted to downward sloping structures.