Advancing Oil Spill Response in Ice-Covered Waters
The objective of this project is to identify programs and research and development projects that improve the ability of responders to deal with accidental oil spills in fresh or salt-water marine environments where there is ice. This includes spills that occur on top of or underneath solid, stable ice extending out from shore (land-fast), into an area of drifting ice floes (pack ice), or onto an ice-covered shoreline. Oil spills in ice are a subject of great concern to corporations, local residents, and government agencies participating in oil exploration, production, and transportation. Currently, areas that are of special concern are Cook Inlet, the Beaufort Sea (including the North Slope of Alaska), Sakhalin Island offshore, and the Norwegian Barents, Baltic, and Caspian seas. As reserves are depleted in more accessible areas, cold frontier regions will increasingly receive attention in the areas of exploration and production. In most areas of the world, the greatest need is to develop a credible and effective response to oil that has been spilled in moving, broken pack ice in the ocean, lakes or rivers. Practical response strategies are, in most cases, already available to deal with spills in a stable, fast-ice environment. A notable exception involves the lack of operational tools to detect or map oil in any ice type.
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