Studies of glaciers in the Russian Arctic for safe marine operations in iceberg waters

UDK: 550.8(26)
DOI: 10.24887/0028-2448-2018-10-92-97
Key words: glacier, Arctic, iceberg, offshore, ice management
Authors: O.Ya. Sochnev (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), K.A. Kornishin (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), P.A. Tarasov (Rosneft Oil Company, RF, Moscow), A.L. Salman (ES-PAS LLC, RF, Moscow), A.F. Glazovsky (Institute of Geography, RAS, RF, Moscow), I.I. Lavrentiev (Institute of Geography, RAS, RF, Moscow), Ya.O. Efimov4, T.E. Mamedov (Arctic Research Centre JSC, RF, Moscow)

When prospecting and exploration for hydrocarbons and the subsequent development of license blocks located in the Arctic waters to prevent colliding iceberg and offshore oil and gas facility is one of the key tasks. The paper presents scientific studies of outlet glaciers of the Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagoes in the area of license blocks of Rosneft Oil Company in the Arctic waters, performed by the Company during 2012-2017.

To build 3D models of the major outlet calving glaciers, the radar ice thickness survey was conducted for three years. In combination with digital elevation models, it allowed to build a three-dimensional model of the object to highlight the glacier transition zone to flotation together with current and potential intensity of iceberg production. The dynamics of glaciers was assessed from satellite remote sensing data. Changes of glacier margins and the ice surface velocity were also determined. Data on the ice flow rate were verified by satellite beacons installed on the main glaciers. The parameters of icebergs distribution produced by a certain glacier were determined by interpretation of satellite imagery directly at the glacier front. The results of interpretation of aerial photo survey of icebergs conducted near glaciers by Rosneft from 2012 to 2017 were also used.

As an example, the paper presents the results for one of the glaciers on Novaya Zemlya - the Vershinsky glacier. The data obtained allow to estimate the ice flux of the glacier into the sea. The glacier velocity data reveals the seasonal variability. Zones of intensive production of icebergs are distinguished on the glacier; the size distribution of produced icebergs is dependent on the structure of this glacier.


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