|Home | Contact Us | Team Page|
Most icebergs in the northern hemisphere originate from glaciers on Greenland. Some other sources of glaciers around Baffin Bay (Baffin Island, Bylot Island, Devon Island and Ellesmere Island) also contribute to the iceberg population in Baffin Bay and the Northeast Atlantic. Icebergs in the Barents Sea calve from glaciers on Franz Joseph Land (Zemlya Frantsa Iosifa), Novaya Zemlya and Spitsbergen. Icebergs in the Russian Kara Sea are mostly from glaciers on Severnaya Zemlya. Icebergs also calve from glaciers at various sites around Alaska.
The iceberg monitoring service has been extended to the Antarctic region. Service provision in this area supports safe shipping and transiting the southern hemisphere in ice-frequented waters. Iceberg surveillance will be provided across a broad base of users in the Antarctic, with the British Antarctic Survey as the main liaison to the end users. Service provision will start from small focused and specific tactical surveillance to eventually a more broadly focused surveillance such as is done in the North by the International Ice Patrol.
This service supports safe shipping and offshore operations by providing near real-time detection of icebergs based on satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. The service is geared towards end-users concerned with transportation and offshore operations safety and compliance with regulations.
Satellite surveillance can be an effective alternative to aerial patrol. Satellite iceberg detection is cost effective for near shore surveillance and can be conducted more cheaply than aerial patrol for mid and far offshore regions. This is especially relevant as additional oil fields come into production and exploration activities move further offshore into deeper waters where the iceberg frequency is much higher.
A custom-developed algorithm extracts both icebergs and other targets, such as ships and offshore structures, from the SAR imagery. The algorithm generates a tabular detection report comprising target identification, location and detection confidence. The minimum size of detectable icebergs depends on image spatial resolution, shape of the iceberg look angle, and sea state. Under optimal conditions, icebergs as small as the sensor resolution can be detected, with a probability of detection exceeding 90%.
In addition to the near-real-time service, historical iceberg information from archived data can yield quantification of length and geographic extent of icebergs seasons (and trends), and overall iceberg risk. This information is useful to legislators and regulators for defining ice management principles that must be employed for development in particular areas. These management principles include towing, burying of production facilities, the provision of platform disconnect capabilities. Improved historical information provided by the satellite SAR archive, dating back to 1992, will help regulators determine iceberg impact risk in deeper waters, such as the Flemish Pass, a region that is believed to have a much higher iceberg frequency than in the currently developed continental shelf regions. This historical archive can also be used in other iceberg-frequented regions to determine statistical iceberg concentrations, such as in Greenland and the Northern Coast of Russia, to enable safe operations for natural resource development.
International Ice Patrol
Canadian Ice Serivce
Ltd. Environmental Services Division (PAL ESD)
Volvo Ocean Yacht Race
and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board)