Ice jacking

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Ice jacking occurs when water invades a confined space in a structural support, or geologic formation, and upon freezing causes structural fracture as the ice expands. The phenomenon has been blamed for the failure of a ski gondola lift in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler, B.C.[1]

Geologic engineering[edit]

Rock slope failures can occur due to the presence of water; ice jacking occurs when water between joint or fissure surfaces freezes and expands. This type of failure is progressive, resulting in incremental weakening over time, often requiring several cycles before failure.[2] This is one form of rock erosion.

Ice heaving[edit]

Ice heaving is sometimes called ice-jacking, and can be damaging to property on a lake shore. If a one mile diameter lake's ice temperature rises from 14 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the ice sheet will expand on to shore about 3 feet. This can occur in a matter of hours when there is no snow cover on the ice sheet to provide insulation [3][4] Ice heaving-ice-jacking is in the form of jumble ice.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whistler reopens as officials blame ice damage for collapsed tower
  2. ^ Xanthakos, Petros P.; Abramson, Lee W.; Bruce, Donald A. Ground Control and Improvement. (pp. 737). John Wiley & Sons.
  3. ^ Pelican Lake on the danger of Ice heaving-ice-jacking
  4. ^ PetaPixel on Minnesota ice-heaves
  5. ^ Lake ice glossary terms