Click on the adjacent image to view an animation of how the Ice Profiling Sonar (IPS) samples ice draft from a bottom upward-looking mooring. The Radarsat image in the top right of the animation shows ice drifting over the sub-sea position of the IPS. The fixed position of the IPS is denoted by the red dot.
Click on image to view IPS animation
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 ASL’s history and its current activities have and continue to focus on diverse ice environs. These studies include the following:
In 1996, ASL introduced its Ice Profiler™(IPS), an upward-looking sonar to measure sea ice keels to unprecedented accuracy and resolution. These instruments are now being used in ice-infested waters around the world. Along with deployment and recovery services, ASL offers software and complete data processing and analysis for the IPS. The data acquired by the IPS provides extremely detailed measurements of the ice canopy including individual ice keels, level ice draft thickness and open water segments for periods of several months or longer. When deployed with an ADCP, ice velocities and ocean currents can be calculated to add a spatial component to the ice drafts and help define some of the pack-ice driving forces at work. The list of successful projects utilizing the IPS is rapidly growing and includes such locations as the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Caspian Sea, the Greenland Sea and the Canadian East Coast. The animation below shows an example of IPS ice draft data as sea ice drifts above the bottom-mounted instrument. It is displayed here with a concurrent scene of RadarSat imagery.
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). ASL also provides ice measurement equipment and services to research labs including the Institute of Ocean Sciences (Beaufort Sea), Eastern Arctic and Labrador Sea (Bedford Institute of Oceanography), Gulf of St. Lawrence (Public Works and Government Services Canada), the Sea of Okhotsk (Hokkaido University, Japan), Northeast Greenland (Norwegian Polar Institute and Chevron) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. covers a wide range of activities for data from Ice Profiler Sonar, ADCP and other moored instruments. These activities include the following:
ASL has developed real-time ice measurement systems over the past decade:
ASL numerical modeling capabilities include Arctic and sea ice applications such as 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 Ocean’s 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 one to five day forecasts of pack ice edge locations in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea in support of tug-based resupply operations for northern Alaskan ports (2010).
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. See brochure.
Sea Ice Data Products – Derived from Remote Sensing Sea Ice Concentrations including total ice concentrations and by ice type (e.g. multi-year, first year, new ice) for local, regional or shipping corridor operational areas for specific times of the year. Ice floe sizes and shapes, including density distributions, orientations and information on open water leads separating the floes. Ice Velocities are derived from sequential satellite image scenes, and estimates are derived from computation of wind and ocean current forcing. The statistical summaries of the above quantities can be presented in a wide range of map-based or tabular formats, including frequency of occurrence and recurrence intervals of specified ice types and for open water. The ice information derived from remote sensing data sources is highly complementary to the sea ice information products that ASL provides based on moored upward looking sonar instruments, including ASL's Ice Profiler ™(see above animation).