Risk analysis of vessel traffic in the Arctic is a key component of the PASSAGES project. This involves identifying hazards to the ships (ice, freezing spray, grounding, breakdown, etc.) and by the ships (pollution, noise, whale strikes, etc.).
Once the potential risks are identified, they need to be quantified, which entails estimating the likelihood of a particular event occurring and the magnitude of its impacts, which can be illustrated using a risk matrix.
The work being done in this section of the PASSAGES Project is focused on the following set of activities:
As most of the risks associated with shipping traffic in the Arctic involved multiple consequences, and many of them exhibit spatio-temporal variations, this model will serve to enhance and integrate the above mentioned risk studies incorporated into vulnerability maps in GIS with the possibility of combining the information into risk indexes for specific hazards.
The ice median map shows the different POLARIS RIO indexes computed per week for the IA ship category. Dr. Etienne used here the Canadian Ice Service maps from 2007 until 2014. The minimum values correspond to the worst case scenario and the maximum values correspond to the best case scenario. The areas in green are opened to navigation, the areas in yellow can be entered but only at low speed. In the areas coloured in orange the vessel must require an ice-breaker escort and the red areas are NO GO zones.
Dr. Etienne computed per month the POLARIS Index surface per safety control zone and for IA ship category. The animated map below shows a quick example of the surface ratio per control zone. The legend must be read as the one used in the map above.
The Dalhousie team is currently working on the possibility of understanding when and where the variability is likely to be encountered. The objective is to discuss how the increasing variability in ice conitions is challenging conventional wisdom among Arctic shipping operators and regulators. The approach in this case is to capture the uncertainty for each ship type in each Safety Control Zones (AIRSS Standards – TP 12259 Appendix A – Zones Map). The boxplots below show the results for a 1A vessel operating in Zone 13.
The traffic and risk models must be placed into a decision support frameworks to produce the maximum benefit. Two timeframes will be considered:
The strategic decision models required for Arctic applications present novel circumstances due to the great distances required to get on-scene, and the harsh operating conditions.