August 23, 2011
Arctic being cold and un-welcoming for human settlement, it has remained one of the most inhabitable places in the earth. That doesn’t mean human activities will not exist in the area. People have been living in the Arctic region for various activities including research, exploration, and oil drilling. These activities require job specific structures to be constructed in the area.
It is common for offshore structures in the Arctic region to interact with oncoming ice features. Such interactions are random in terms of intensity and direction, and are usually difficult to predict.
Understanding behaviors of different variables of ice-structure interaction can be helpful in achieving structural safety and economy of offshore structures by providing better design and construction guidance.
According to a USGC report published in 2008, the Arctic accounts for about 22 percent of undiscovered and technically recoverable natural resources. Although seemingly high, the estimate can prove to be highly conservative with the advancement in technology and future explorations of vast majority of unexplored arctic region.
To make use of such a vast resource, the Arctic region demands increased activities in the area in terms of exploration and investigation on the economical viability of explorations. Harsh climate in the Arctic region also demands for economical structures with better safety ratings against ice and environmental actions.
I will talk about ice-structure interaction in the next post.