The limiting global loads on offshore structures in cold regions will be determined by the types of ice conditions encountered. Icebergs, pack ice, large ice floes, and pressure ridges are all commonly occurring types of ice in the Arctic. In order to design and optimize cost-effective structures for operation in ice it is necessary to have reliable methods for predicting ice loads. Analytical methods, physical modeling and numerical simulation all have important roles to play in predicting the loads due to ice on offshore structures.
This paper reviews the methods available for designers to predict the loads on offshore structures caused by ice. It highlights the most suitable method for different phases of the design process and discusses the advantages and limitations of each method. The paper uses the results of recent projects to illustrate techniques for predicting the global load on the structure and the ice features that result.