A new technique to determine the spread of oil spill under fast ice

Jeremy Wilkinson, Peter Wadhams, Nick Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Existing oil spill models are inadequate because they are unable to adequately replicate the complexity or uniqueness of different ice regimes. This paper clearly demonstrates that it is possible to overcome this inadequacy, through the combination of observational and modelling techniques, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle fitted with an upward-looking multibeam sonar and an oil-trajectory model. Results suggest that we are, at present, underestimating the spread of oil under sea ice by an order of magnitude. This is an important outcome as it suggests our ability to contain and recover oil located under sea ice is ineffective. This would, have detrimental affect on our ability to recover a large portion of the oil in a quick and efficient manner, which in turn will increase the likelihood of extended oil contamination of the fragile under-ice ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Development of Offshore Engineering in Cold Regions
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Engineering, Marine
  • Engineering, Mechanical
  • Mechanics
  • Engineering, Ocean


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