Summary of Working Paper No. 35-1996

I.5.1: Content of database, planning and risk assessment. Volume 2 - 1994 project work.

By Sylvi Vefsnmo and Stig Magnar Løvås, SINTEF NHL, Trondheim, Norway; and Anders Backlund and Erkki Ranki, Kværner Masa Yards Technology Inc., Helsinki, Finland.

The second working paper of Project I.5.1: Content of database, planning and risk assessment, has now been completed. The paper concentrates on sources of physical environment data and implementation of a basic dataset on ice cover into INSROP GIS. Further the project includes a study of risk assessment of ships in ice operation as well as an identification of different accident scenarios. In order to assess how pollution from NSR shipping will impact the environment, statistical oil drift models are given priority instead of operational oil drift models for local areas as outlined in the original plans.

Some of the physical environment data are already implemented into INSROP GIS and analyzed. However, the main part of the physical data needed or the assessment of the feasibility for opening the NSR is not implemented. It is recommended to initiate a separate data project covering delivery of physical environment data not included in other INSROP projects. Due to delays with delivery of physical environment data, efforts have been made to identify alternative sources.

Daily SSM/I sea ice data for the period July 1987 to December 1990 have been implemented into INSROP GIS and analyzed. Maps showing probability distribution of different ice concentration classes are presented for each month of the year. Since the time period covered by SSM/I ice data is very limited, the variability analysis will most probably not be representative for the large annual variations. Due to high temporal resolution of the dataset, it may serve as a "reference" dataset when evaluating the quality of other datasets for ice concentration to be implemented into INSROP GIS. The summer season for the region occurs roughly from June to September, when the ice cover melts significantly, diminishing in both extent and strength. The greatest seasonal fluctuations occur at the east and west ends of the route. This is due to the influence of ocean currents moving northward from the warmer Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Bering Sea in the east, which accelerate the ice decay in the spring and retard the freeze-up in the fall. The AARI Sea Ice Charts Database covering the period 1967-90 with a temporal resolution of 10 days will be implemented into INSROP GIS during the 1995 project work of Project I.3.1.

Sailing the NSR represents a potential hazard to the environment, personal safety and damage on vessels. A major concern is the possible impact on the environment from accidental oil spills either from cargo or bunker fuel. In order to assess how pollution will impact the environment, a statistical model will be applied to provide drift tracks of the pollutants. Based on requirements of input data to the statistical oil drift model, appropriate Russian data sources are identified and should be provided by AARI. The statistical analysis will show conflicts between oil versus shorelines and ice-covered areas for the region in concern.

Shallow waters and areas with heavy ice conditions are potential navigation risk areas. Statistical analyses shows that the eastern part of the NSR has a greater accidental risk than the western part. The major ship damage occurs during heavy ice conditions and with ships of ULA and L1 classes. The majority of ice damage to ships of L1 class occurs during assistance from ice-breakers. The ships of ULA class are most frequently exposed to damage when sailing alone. In the Arctic seas about 40 % of the damage occurs in the Kara Sea where the intensity of sailing is highest. About 20 % of the accidents occur in the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea while only about 14 % occur in the Chukchi Sea. The analyses also show that most of the accidents occur at the end of the navigation period (August-September).