Ice consolidations during freeze-up on the Peace River (Alberta) can produce local flooding due to either the attendant surge of ice and water or the resulting over-thickened ice accumulation. These consolidation events occur very quickly, they affect the ice cover over a relatively short domain of the river, but produce steep waves that are felt a long distance downstream. The available evidence ... [Show full abstract] suggests a link between certain types of consolidation with sharp temperature increases. Although the impacts of such events have been measured, there is limited knowledge of how they are initiated, and of the hydrodynamic characteristics and ice-breaking capacity of the resulting waves. The issue of climate change and variability underscores the need for improved understanding of consolidation-generated waves. In 2000-01, a consolidation event was detected on the Peace River between Dunvegan and the Town of Peace River. The response of the Dunvegan gauge upstream of the consolidation provided an indication of the rate at which the ice cover collapsed, and three gauges downstream of the consolidation measured the resulting water wave. Using a recently-developed analytical method that is based on the one-dimensional equations of motion, flow velocity, discharge, and boundary shear stress were determined for the waveform. These values are in agreement with earlier estimates that were obtained via numerical modelling. Using the calculated shear stress values, the capacity of the wave to dislodge the solid-ice cover is examined within the context of the existing criteria of breakup initiation. The resulting inferences compare favourably to observations.