We’ve carried out a huge research work in the Kara sea – since 2012 a number of expeditions were performed both in winter and summer seasons.
In a spring period of 2013–2017 we studied physical and mechanical properties of sea ice in the Kara sea. The main task was to evaluate the sea ice’s main physical (temperature, salinity, density, texture) and mechanical properties. Ice structures of different age gradations were studied with both borehole indenter and sample coring.
Glaciers and icebergs were also studied by different means. First iceberg towing trials in the Kara sea revealed new information on iceberg movement and behavior under tow.
Ice mechanics and physical properties
Ice properties of the Kara sea were comprehensively studied for several years in different zones. For example, we studied 120+ ice stations with 5000+ ice cores, 4000+ local strength measurements. Obtained data shows that for level ice with increase of thickness, its means temperature, salinity and density decrease, but mean values of local strength and strength of ice samples at uniaxial compression increase. Failure zones of different intensity developed after indenter penetration are studied. A range of comparison coefficient for local strength and uniaxial compression strength is updated. A comparison of strength at uniaxial compression of cylindrical ice samples drilled parallel to the ice cover surface with the ice strength in conditions of uniform compression (local strength) was also performed.
Glaciers and icebergs drift
In the Russian Arctic, icebergs are widely spread throughout Barents, Kara and Laptev seas. The distribution of icebergs in the central part of Barents Sea is better described, taking into account a large amount of accumulated data. Icebergs of the Kara and Laptev seas are less studied, whereas there are more calving glaciers. We tried to fill those gaps.
Icebergs may threaten marine structures, vessels and naval operations in a number of Arctic and Antarctic regions. These threats can be eliminated by iceberg towing. This technology is vital for the projects of iceberg towing to water-starved areas of the Earth. Our experiments on extra-long towing show great potential for this concept and bring so hope for realization of these projects.
Due to its geography and harsh environment, this area is remains poorly studied.
Among the factors that have a particularly strong impact on the region, one should highlight low air temperatures, storm winds and waves, intense currents, surges and presence of sea ice for most of the year.
Sea ice characteristics
During field ice studies in 2013-2017, more than 150 ice features were investigated in the Laptev sea. In most cases, a set of methods was used, including determination of the morphometry and internal structure of ice features using water thermal drilling, total station survey of the surface, sonar of the underwater surface of the ice feature, determination of the local ice strength using a borehole jack, taking ice samples to determine the physical (temperature, salinity, density) and strength (compressive and bending strength) properties of ice.
Permafrost in the Laptev sea
A complex multidisciplinary research was carried out from the land fast ice in the Nordvik Bay, Laptev Sea. The main aim was to obtain and summarize data on the geocryological conditions of the south-western part of the Laptev sea, which are necessary to assess the impact of adverse environmental parameters and model further possible permafrost degradation. The permafrost-geological structure and cryogenic processes, along with the presence of surface gas, are decisive geotechnical features of the shallow-water areas of the Arctic shelf.