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Pressured Ice: Environmental Monitoring, Modeling and Mitigation of Risk for Marine Operations

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    Rocky Taylor Memorial University

Changing conditions in the marine environment present coastal and island communities on the East Coast of Canada with challenges by potentially disrupting operations, including transportation, resupply and search-and-rescue, as well as shipping, offshore operations and other marine activities.

Changing conditions in the marine environment present coastal and island communities on the East Coast of Canada with challenges in terms of disruptions to various types of operations, including transportation, resupply and search-and-rescue, as well as shipping and other marine economic activities.

It is the goal of this project to develop tools which will help with long-term monitoring of pressured ice events and associated consequences, to improve forecasting and modeling of such events and support decision-making by operators and policy-makers operating in ice-prone environments. 

Conditions under which ice-related disruptions to ferry services occur are being studied as a means of improving understanding of the conditions under which when such events occur, to support the development of improved tools for predicting the likelihood of future events in other branches of the marine sectors. Tools for evaluating operational limits and associated ice risks are being evaluated in the context of consequences of such risks for different stakeholders, to identify potential strategies for improving decision-support tools.

A probabilistic framework for modeling pressured ice risk and improving understanding of MetOcean driving mechanisms associated with these events are under development. Moreover, new tools which incorporate the latest advances in satellite technology are also being explored to identify potentially scalable ways to take advantage of increased satellite coverage as it becomes available.

This project has resulted in collaboration with Canadian industry and international partners from Russia and Finland, with results being disseminated to stakeholders in the marine sector and the international scientific community.  


  • CCG - Canadian Coast Guard
  • Centre for Arctic Resource Development - CARD
  • Environment Canada - Canadian Ice Service
  • Fednav
  • Food Security Network
  • LOOKNorth
  • Marine Atlantic
  • Nunatsiavut Government
  • Ocean Seafood International
  • Wood Group Kenny


  • Ian Turnbull C-Core


  • Samsur Rahman Memorial University of Newfoundland


  • Rahman, M.S., Turnbull, I.D., Taylor, R.S., Veitch, B.. 2016, Analysis of First Year Ice, Surface Ocean Current, and Ice Floe Drift Speed and Motion Offshore Newfoundland and Labrador from Satellite-tracked Buoys During the 2015 Ice Season., Arctic Technology Conference,
  • Rahman,Samsur,Taylor,Rocky,Turnbull,Ian,Veitch,Brian ,. 2016, Development of a Probabilistic Ice Convergence Model Using Data Collected from Satellite-Tracked Buoys During the 2015 and 2016 Ice Seasons Offshore Labrador, Arctic Technology Conference 2016,
  • Habib, K.B., Taylor, R.S., Birajdar, P.R., Hossain, R.B.. 2016, Experimental Study of Effects of Boundary Conditions and Scale on Ice Crushing Failure, PACOMS Conference,
  • Taylor,Rocky,. 2016, Ice-related Disruptions to Ferry Services in Eastern Canada: Prevention and Consequence Mitigation Strategies, Transportation Research Procedia,
  • Mohammadafzali, S., Sarracino, R., Taylor, R.S., Stanbridge, C.W., Marchenko, A.. 2016, nvestigation and 3D Discrete Element Modeling of Fracture of Sea Ice Beams., Arctic Technology Conference,

Pressured ice events affect marine operations relating to:

  1. service and supply of coastal and island communities;
  2. natural resource industries (fishing, offshore oil, mining);
  3. exercising sovereignty;
  4. marine emergency response;
  5. shipping; and
  6. marine infrastructure needed to support economic development and diversification.

It is the goal of this project to better understand the causes of pressured ice events, and develop improved models to assess the likelihood of occurrence and associated consequences of such events.

Tools will be developed to communicate this information more effectively to support decision-making and mitigation strategies that will reduce the impact of pressured ice events in terms of disruption to critical services, supplies and operations.

A Rocky Relationship with Ice - Page 4, Luminus, Winter 2015, Vol. 37, No. 1