DECICE is a time-domain solver that uses discrete elements to model ice engineering problems. The elements undergo rigid body translation and rotation according to Newtonian mechanics, and interaction forces, both normal and tangential (resulting from friction), are modeled when bodies contact one another. Each body can be elastically deformable and fracturable under internal stress to produce new elements. The fracture model is based on Mohr-Coulomb failure criteria with a tension cutoff, and brittle failure modes can be either compressive, shear, tensile, or flexural.

External loads may be applied, such as those resulting from ship thrust, mooring lines, wind, or current. Ice buoyancy and weight can also be included. The 2-dimensional version is useful for modeling large-scale ice transport problems, such as ice movement between bridge piers, while the 3-dimensional version is applicable to icebreaking ships or general ice-structure interaction. The 3-dimensional version also includes an iceberg scour model for examining scour depth in the vicinity of buried pipelines. Examples of ice-structure interaction modeling include:

  • modeling of an iceberg striking a subsea wellhead protection silo;
  • collision between an iceberg and a moored spar;
  • investigation of peak loads on conical structures;
  • pack ice motion around a moored barge; and,
  • modeling of ice arching between bridge piers.