Utilization of floating ice is recommended for consideration in the construction of offshore marine structures in arctic and sub-arctic regions. The main objective of the study was to assess the feasibility of using floating ice in offshore marine construction applications. Methods that can lead to increasing the bearing capacity and enhancing ice road trafficability were investigated. The use of air mats to prevent ice deflection and flooding due to such deflection was for long term loading applications.


Floating ice sheets can be used when constructing marine structures in offshore arctic and sub-arctic regions. This construction method has been used in the North American Arctic to make artificial drilling platforms (#1) from which oil exploration has been undertaken. These drilling platforms may be either grounded to the seafloor or floating. They are typically constructed from spray ice (created by spraying seawater into the air onto an ice sheet or ice rubble with large volume water monitors whereby it freezes, thus building up the ice thickness). The ice platforms constructed in the Canadian high Arctic for exploration drilling are an example of this application. In this paper, we describe the results of studies undertaken to expand the applicability of ice as an offshore construction material. Moreover, regarding short-term loading as such as #3, we report on experimental results that improves bearing capacity of ice sheets as well as the improvement on safety when used as roads through the use of a geotextile. For long-term loading such as #2, the use of air mats served to prevent flooding resulting from deflection of ice sheets.


To minimize creep deformation, the ice thickness is increased to achieve the required buoyancy to support the loads imposed on it by the drill rig and support equipment.

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