Iceberg Warning For Rigs, Pipelines

January 2015, Vol. 242, No. 1

Rigs at risk from drifting icebergs can expect an early warning following research by the Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Autonomous Ocean Systems Laboratory (AOSL) at the university is part of a long-term study modeling the behavior of icebergs that includes acquiring real-world data that will increase the accuracy of predicting the rate and direction of their drift.

The researchers are also finding ways to identify exceptionally deep icebergs that might drag across the seabed in shallow water and damage pipelines. Specially designed autonomous vehicles are being developed for the study. Fitted with ice-profiling sonar the vehicles will stay with an iceberg for 28 days at a time gathering data on ice thickness and volume as well as direction and drift.

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