On the Melt Rate of Submerged Sediment-Laden Ice
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Submerged sediment-laden ice blocks that form on the intertidal mud flats of the Minas Basin pose a potential threat to tidal turbines planned for deployment in the Minas Passage. Laboratory prepared ice blocks of varying sediment content, salinity, and length scale were melted in seawater of different temperatures. The effect of sediment inclusions on melt rate is related to changes in heat supply and the heat required to melt a unit mass of ice, where the former is affected by the strength of the convective current and the latter by the ice block properties. A melt rate model for submerged sediment-laden ice is developed, with free convection the dominant deterioration mechanism. The model provides probable upper limits to the lifetimes of submerged ice blocks in the field, and has been used to predict lifetimes of large submerged ice blocks using temperatures representative of seawater in the Minas Basin.