January 2018 Ice Heave

On January 2, 2018, the lake ice on Wabamun expanded laterally and heaved up and buckled the shoreline along the north shore of the lake, from Seba Beach east to just west of the Village of Wabamun. There was some shoreline upheaval along the south shore, but the greatest damage was along the northwest shore. The damage to the shoreline was extensive in many areas including damage to buildings and structures. Long-time residents and cottage owners stated they had not seen such damage from ice in over 60 years. According to the Alberta Geological Survey, similar phenomena occurred on several lakes in central Alberta from January 1 to 2. For an explanation of the phenomenon, go to The Power of Lake Ice as well as Alberta Environment and Parks' Respect Our Lakes: Understanding Ice Ridges and Ice Pushes.

If your shoreline is impacted by the ice heave, and you did not receive the AEP bulletin about the steps that must be taken to acquire the proper permits to repair the damage, download the bulletin here. As well, Parkland County has a good summary of what needs to be done at 2018 Ice Heaving - Wabamun Lake.

On January 19, Spectre UAV flew an aerial survey of portions of the northwest shore to document the damage. You can download a copy of the report of the flyover here (PDF, 9.2 mb).

The WWMC is in the process of organizing a Shoreline Restoration Workshop for owners of shoreline properties affected by the ice heave. The two-day workshop will occur on Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12 at locations to be determined. David Polster will present the  workshop. He is an experienced and highly regarded restoration specialist. Although based in British Columbia, he has done projects and workshops in Alberta. For more information on his background and the projects he's done, go to Polster Environmental Services Ltd. We will post more information on the workshop as details are finalized.