Movie:Pushing Sea Ice

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Information Page: Pushing Sea Ice

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Key Attributes

Domain: coastal, marine
Keywords: sea ice
Model name: Animation model name
Name: Irina, Overeem
Where: Ooguruk Island
When: June 23rd, 2009

Short Description

Grade level: High (9-12), Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: sea ice push unto artificial island

Abstract: This is a movie of sea ice pushing up the small drillling island Oooguruk on June 23rd, 2009. Oooguruk is man-made, it is located just offshore the Colville delta along the Beaufort Sea of Alaska. The island was constructed as a base for a drill platform in 2006, it sits in ~4-5 ft of water depth. Its sides are at least 4,5m above sea level and even up to 9m.

The process is called ice encroachment; both due to 'ride-up' and 'pile-up'. The ice blocks are over 4-5m, the gravel bags armouring the island can be seen, those are larger than 2 m. The ice pushes itself higher up against the side of the island. The ice push results likely from far-field movement. Nearshore sea ice in this region stayed well into July 2009, but movement of the ice already starts much earlier.


Movement of sea ice unto a structure is called ice encroachment. This occurs in two dfferent modes: 'ride up' and 'pile-up'. Ride-up occurs when the ice is driven up the side slope intact, pile-up ocurs when the ice fails and buckles and bends into individual blocks.

It has been assumed that pile up would be more prevalent in shallow water, due to grounding of the ice and due to the fact that a river is very closeby. The river discharge starts draining unto the sea ice by May-June and makes the sea ice more weak and vulnerable for break-up.



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