Sea ice research

Complex sea ice researches have been performed by AMIGE since 1987.

Currently there are numbered more than 100 drift ice stations with ice surveys completed in Barents Sea, Pechora Sea, Kara Sea, Ob Bay, and Taz Bay as well.

Airborne ice cover survey

Airborne ice cover survey is performed with aircrafts like planes AN-30A, and helicopters MI-4, Mi-8.

For large area of ice cover it includes the following field techniques:

  • areal video recording and aerial photography of drift ice and fast ice;
  • measurement of ice fields drift rate.

Also, airborne ice survey results in detailed mapping of ice conditions in the survey area to study spatial patterns, dynamics and behavior of ice cover (push and shearing, drift, ice fields interaction, compression, hummocking, ridging, and failure of ice).

Offshore

Offshore observations of drift ice in open water

To study features of drift ice helicopters are used in open water at sea.

Such investigations on drift ice cover are aimed to observe movement of an ice cake under the action of wind and currents there. Positions of such ice block in drift are fixed with satellite navigational receivers.

 

Observation of drift ice in open water
Onshore observations of fast ice

Onshore observations of fast ice include the following field techniques:

  • line and route surveys;
  • mapping of ice features;
  • observations of ice cover behavior in process of fast ice formation and failure;
  • determination of level ice and drift ice properties (ice thickness and roughness, dimensions and morphometry of ice structures, physical and mechanical ice variables).

Transportation of scientific specialists from their accommodation places to ice stations is used to be arranged with snowmobiles and helicopters.

Sea ice morphometry

To study sea ice morphometry ice stations are positioned in locations with clearly distinguished ice features like hummocks and ridges. Ice coring is performed along linear profiles of up to 100 m long at every 4-5 m apart.

In drilled holes ice thickness, including total thickness, snow thickness, surface elevation, draft, and freeboard is measured with such thickness gauge as a ruler tape. Holes in ice are drilled with a motor-driven ice auger TANAKA TIA 040 equipped with a high-power gasoline engine of 30.5cm3 CC and provided with a set of flights.

Such flights of 1 m long allow drilling in the ice cover up to 30 m thick.

Sea ice coring for physical and mechanical ice properties

Sea ice coring and core analysis is performed to determine basic ice variables:

Sea ice coring for physical and mechanical ice properties

Sea ice coring for physical and mechanical ice properties

  • temperature;
  • salinity;
  • density;
  • texture;
  • (confined compressive) strength.

Ice coring and further ice cores analysis allow determination of basic sea ice properties. Ice cores are taken mechanically with hand (annular) augers at level ice sites and with ice gauge TANAKA TIA040 equipped with a special core barrel in hummocky ice. Ice cores are recovered by sections within interval of 4 m thick. Obtained sea ice cores, ice samples, and sea water samples are delivered to a field ice laboratory arranged onboard or onshore for further tests and analyses.
Ice density is defined by measurements of weight and volume of ice samples.