Long-Term Changes in the Course of Ice Phenomena on the Oder River along the Polish–German Border

  • Włodzimierz MarszelewskiEmail author
  • Bogusław Pawłowski


Ice phenomena are a major component of the hydrological regime of east-central and northern European rivers. However, their occurrence disturbs inland water transportation, particularly affecting the major rivers of the Central European Plain that are part of Europe’s international waterways. The Oder is one of these rivers, and is located on the boundary between the much warmer and the much colder part of the temperate climatic zone. This makes the course of ice phenomena on the river difficult to predict. The main purpose of this work is to document and analyse the dynamic of changes occurring for over 60 years (1956–2015) in the ice phenomena of a river that demonstrates a transitional ice regime. It was found that the duration of all ice phenomena decreased (by up to 0.58 days·year−1) and so did the duration of ice cover (by up to 0.46 days·year−1). The rates and trends of the two parameters were, however, different in different parts of the lower stretch of the river. This fact is especially important in the context of climate changes whose characteristics include an increased incidence of extreme weather situations, both meteorological and hydrological. There was also found to be a strong correlation (R2 from 0.69 to 0.81) between the duration of ice phenomena and the mean air temperature in winter (December to February) and a much weaker correlation between the duration of ice phenomena and the NAO index (R2 from 0.42 to 0.48). Such a little correlation of ice phenomena with NAO is likely to result from the pollution of the Oder River (in particular in the second half of the twentieth century) and icebreaking operations on the river.


River ice Climate change Oder River 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



  1. Al-Mukhtar M, Dunger V, Merkel B (2014) Assessing the impact of climate change on hydrology of the upper reach of the Spree River: Germany. Water Resour Manag 28:2731–2749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beltaos S (1995) River ice jams. Water Resources Publications, Colorado USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Bonsal BR, Terry DP, Duguay CR, Lacroix MP (2005) Impact of large-scale Teleconnections on river-ice duration over Canada. 13th workshop on the hydraulics of ice covered Rivers, committee on river ice processes and the environment. Accessed 12 January 2019
  4. Buzin VA, D’yachenko NY (2011) Forecasting the intrawater ice formation and ice jams in the Neva River. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 36:(11):770–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carson R, Beltaos S, Groeneveld J, Healy D, She Y, Malenchak J, Morris M, Saucet JP, Kolerski T, Shen HT (2011) Comparative testing of numerical models of river ice jams. Can J Civ Eng 38:669–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Daly FS, Vuyovich C (2007) Overview of ice jams in three major US Rivers. 14th workshop on the hydraulics of ice covered Rivers, committee on river ice processes and the environment. Accessed 12 January 2019
  7. Das A, Reed M, Lindenschmidt KE (2018) Sustainable ice-jam flood Management for Socio-Economic and Socio-Ecological Systems. Water 10(2):135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gebre SB, Alfredsen KT (2011) Investigation of river ice regimes in some Norwegian water courses. 16th Workshop on River Ice, Committee on River Ice Processes and the Environment. Accessed 12 January 2019
  9. Grześ M (1991) Ice jam and floods on the lower Vistula River. Mechanism and processes. Polish academy of science, Warsaw (in polish, summary in English)Google Scholar
  10. Grześ M, Ćmielewski M (2008) Variability of ice phenomena in selected rivers of the Arctic in the 20th century. Problems of polar climatology 18:69–78 (in Polish)Google Scholar
  11. Huntington TG, Hodgkins GA, Dudley RW (2003) Historical trend in river ice thickness and coherence in Hydroclimatological trends in Maine. Clim Chang 61:217–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jasińska E (1991) The dynamic of salt water in the estuaries of polish rivers. Works of the Institute of Water Engineering, the Polish Academy of Sciences 24, Gdańsk (in Polish)Google Scholar
  13. Jiang Y, Dong W, Yang S, Ma J (2008) Long-term changes in ice phenology of the Yellow River in the past decades. J Clim 21:4879–4886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Klavins M, Briede A, Rodinov V (2009) Long term changes in ice and discharge regime of rivers in the Baltic region in relation to climatic variability. Clim Chang 95:485–498. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kolerski T (2014) Modeling of ice phenomena in the mouth of the Vistula River. Acta Geophysica 62:893–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kögel M, Das A, Marszelewski W, Carstensen D, Lindenschmidt KE (2017) Machbarkeitsstudie zur Vorhersage von Eisstau auf der Oder. Wasserwirtschaft 107:20–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Krysanova V, Kundzewicz ZW, Pińskwar I, Habeck A (2006) Regional socio-economic and environmental changes and their impact on water resources on example of Odra and Elbe basins. Water Resour Manag 20:607–641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lacroix M, Prowse TD, Bonsal B, Duguay C, Menard P (2005) River ice trends in Canada. 13th workshop on the hydraulics of ice covered Rivers, committee on river ice processes and the environment. Accessed 13 January 2019
  19. Lindenschmidt KE (2017) A non-proprietary, open-source, one-Dimensional River-ice model. Water 9:314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindenschmidt KE, Carstensen D, Fröhlich W, Hentschel B, Iwicki S, Kögel M, Kubicki M, Kundzewicz ZW, Lauschke C, Łazarów A, Łoś H, Marszelewski W, Niedzielski T, Nowak M, Pawłowski B, Roers M, Schlaffer S, Weintrit B (2019) Development of an ice jam flood forecasting system for the Lower Oder River: requirements for real-time predictions of water, ice and sediment transport. Water 11:95. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Magnuson JJ, Robertson DM, Benson BJ, Wynne RH, Livingstone DM, Arai T, Assel RA, Barry RG, Card V, Kuusisto E, Granin NG, Prowse TD, Stewart KM, Vuglinski VS (2000) Historical Trends in Lake and River Ice Cover in the Northern Hemisphere. Science 289:1743–1746. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marszelewski W, Skowron R (2006) Ice cover as an indicator of winter air temperature changes: case study of the polish lowland lakes. Hydrol Sci J 51:336–349. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meredith LC, Vuyovich CM (2014) Investigating the effects of long-term hydro-climatic trends on Midwest ice jam events. Cold Reg Sci Technol 106-107:66–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pawłowski B (2015) Determinants of change in the duration of the ice phenomena on the Vistula River in Toruń. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 63:145–153. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pawłowski B (2017) Course of ice phenomena on the lower Vistula River in 1960-2014. Nicholas Copernicus University, Toruń (in polish, summary in English)Google Scholar
  26. Stonevicius E, Stankunavicius G, Kilkus K (2008) Ice regime dynamics in the Nemunas River, Lithuania. Clim Res 36:17–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Van Pelt SC, Swart RJ (2011) Climate change risk Management in Transnational River Basin: the Rhine. Water Resour Manag 25:3837–3861. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Vuglinsky V (2017) Assessment of changes in ice regime characteristics of Russian Lakes and Rivers under current climate conditions. Nat Res Forum 8:416–431Google Scholar
  29. Vuglinsky V (2018) Changes in ice cover duration and maximum ice thickness for Rivers and lakes in the Asian part of Russia. Nat Res Forum 9:73–87Google Scholar
  30. Wiering M, Verwijmeren J, Lulofs K, Feld C (2010) Experiences in regional cross border co-operation in river management. Comparing three cases at the Dutch-German border. Water Resour Manag 24:2647–2672. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wolski K, Tymiński T, Głuchowska B (2017) Analysis of ice phenomena hazard on the middle Odra river. Land Reclamation Series of Annals of Warsaw University of Life Sciences 49:301–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hydrology and Water Management Faculty of Earth SciencesNicolaus Copernicus University in ToruńToruńPoland

Personalised recommendations