The Preliminary Results of Iceberg Drift Studies in the Russian Arctic Throughout 2012–2017
- Igor V. Buzin (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI)) | Alexandr V. Nesterov (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI)) | Yuri P. Gudoshnikov (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI)) | Alexandr A. Pashali (Rosneft Oil Company) | Konstantin A. Kornishin (Rosneft Oil Company) | Yaroslav O. Efimov (Arctic Research Centre) | Dmitry S. Stragnikov (Arctic Research Centre)
- Document ID
- International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers
- International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering
- Publication Date
- December 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 391 - 399
- 2019. The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers
- icebergs, Radio buoys, southwestern Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, iceberg database, ice hazards, drift parameters
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Icebergs greatly influence the operational regime of hydrotechnical structures in the Arctic offshore waters. In this paper we focus on the preliminary results obtained for the iceberg drift in the Kara and Laptev Seas. Initial data were collected with the help of radio buoys during the 2012–2017 field surveys. Key drift parameters, such as velocity and its variability in summer and winter, are discussed. The differences between the iceberg drift patterns in these seas can be explained by the difference in mass and size of icebergs from the Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagos. Due to this fact, ice cover and water drag influence these groups of icebergs in a different way.
Icebergs cause high risks for navigation; their drift is among the factors influencing the safety of hydrotechnical objects in the Arctic Offshore (ISO, 2016a). Despite the significant progress of technical means since the infamous iceberg-caused tragedies of the 20th century, with enormous human and ship losses (“Titanic” in 1912, “Hans Hedtoft” in 1959), minor incidents (the oil tanker “Overseas Ohio” in 1994) and near-emergency events (“Sea Rose” FPSO in 2017) (Tangborn et al., 1998; Hill, 2000; C-NLOPB, 2018) are still observed.
Understanding the patterns of iceberg drift and the respective morphometric parameters is essential for designing hydrotechnical structures and ensuring safe exploration of hydrocarbon deposits in the seas of the Russian Arctic. Drifting and entering the waters near the prospective deposit icebergs significantly influences the operational regime of hydrotechnical structures, choice of supply vessels, and ice management systems, etc. For many regions of the Russian Arctic, the data on the iceberg drift are unavailable or scarce.
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