Ice Services

Pack_ice deployment

Technical Papers

ASL Environmental Sciences has developed a full complement of skills and specially designed instruments to study complex ice environments. Significant interest in Polar environments and the role of ice as a climate change indicator has positioned ASL Environmental Sciences as a world leader in this field. A large part of ASLís history and its current activities have and continue to focus on diverse ice environs. These studies include:

  • Sea ice and iceberg
  • Lake and River ice
  • Permafrost
In 1996, ASL introduced its Ice Profilerô(IPS), an upward looking sonar to meas sure sea ice keels to unprecedented accuracy and resolution. Read more

Sea Ice and Iceberg Studies

ASL has used the expertise associated with the IPS product in its service contracts in support of offshore oil and gas projects in ice infested waters including projects in Sakhalin Territory, Russia for Sakhalin Energy (Marathon Oil, then Shell Oil) and Exxon Neftegas and BP, in the Pechora Sea for Conoco Phillips and Lukoil, in the NE Caspian Sea of Kazakhstan for AgipKCO and Shell, St. Lawrence Seaway (Canadian Coast Guard, Petro-Canada/TransCanada Pipelines), Cook Inlet (ExxonMobil), and the Alaskan Beaufort Sea (Shell), the Chukchi Sea (Shell and ConocoPhillips) and the Canadian Beaufort Sea (Imperial Oil, BP and the Institute of Ocean Sciences). map
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Data processing and analysis services

ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. covers a wide range of activities for data from Ice Profiler Sonar, ADCP and other moored instruments. These activities include:

  • Compilation of background data sets, particularly barometric pressure, winds and air temperatures from nearby weather stati ions, including data processing an plots; compilation of ice charts from U.S. and Canadian Ice agencies and satellite sources;
  • Plotting and editing of the ocean current profiles data sets as time series at 3-4 measurement levels for ADCPs and also for single level current meters; computation of statistical summaries;
  • Plotting and editing of the sea-ice velocities from the bottom tracking ADCPs, computation of statistical summaries;
  • Computation of the detailed ice draft time and distance series data sets based on the IPS range, pressure, temperature, tilt data sets and ice velocities;
  • Computation of ice draft large-keel statistical summaries, extremal value analysis and analysis of motion events.
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Real-time Ice Measurement Systems

ASL has developed real-time ice measurement systems over the past decade:

  • a real-time IPS/ADCP system operated in the St. Lawrence Seaway from 2002 to 2007 in support for ship navigation;
  • a real-time IPS system operated off the Confederation Bridge in Northumberland Strait in Eastern Canada, 2005-2008; and
  • a real-time IPS system in the shallow waters of the NE Caspian Sea, operated from 2009 to the present.

  • ASL is presently involved in the design of real-time ice measurements systems being considered for operation in deeper Arctic waters, involving multiple measurement locations spanning horizontal distances of 0.5 to 30 km. For the ice measurement systems spanning distances of 1.5 km or more, ASL is working with Ocean Networks Canada of the University of Victoria to apply the technology developed for the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled fibre optics ocean observatory systems to ice and Arctic real-time ice measurement systems.

    Sea Ice Numerical Modeling

    ASL numerical modeling capabilities include Arctic and sea ice applications, including: Contributions to the development of the Canadian Ice Service operational ice models for the Canadian East Coast and the Canadian Beaufort Sea (1991- 2000); Development of coupled sea ice-ocean circulation models for the Canadian East Coast for the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceanís Bedford Institute of Oceanography (2001-2005); Modeling of the disposal and dispersion of drill cuttings in the Canadian Beaufort Sea (2009); Development and operation of a model to provide 1 to 5 day forecasts of pack ice edge locations in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in support of tug-based resupply operations for northern Alaskan ports (2010).

    Sea Ice Data Products (derived from Remote Sensing)

    ASL now offers more capabilities for sea ice analyses with the availability of enhanced remote sensing through a merger with Borstad Associates. This provides improved data products for characterization of sea ice. Using historical ice data sets from many sources, ASL provides pertinent ice information for input to engineering design.
    1) Sea Ice Data Sources (a sampling of):

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