Field studies and modelling of sea state, drift ice, ice actions and methods of icebergs management on the Arctic shelf, 2015–2017 (FIMA)

Part of NORRUS PROGRAMME RUSSIA and the High North/Arctic 2014. Funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Project number: 243930/H30 Project period: 2015–2017
Funding: 5000 kNOK
Host institution: The University Centre in Svalbard
Project leader: UNIS Professor Aleksey Marchenko

Project partners:
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway)
Scientific & Research Institute of Natural Gases and Gas Technologies (VNIIGAZ GASPROM, Moscow, Russia)
State Oceanographic Institute (SOI, Moscow, Russia)


  • Investigation and quantifying of physical environment in the regions of offshore development and navigational activity on the Arctic shelf;
  • contribution to estimates of physical environmental actions on offshore structures and a reduced risk level related to operating offshore in the High North;
  • strengthening of long-term research cooperation with leading research institutions in Russia involved in the industrial development in the High North.

We work in close cooperation with the Centre for Sustainable Arctic Marine and Coastal Technology (SAMCoT) at NTNU, UNIS and SINTEF, Norway.

Project description (PDF) Project participants (PDF) List of publications (PDF)

Latest news

The FIMA team presented the results of field sea ice investigations in the Barents Sea and Svalbard on the POAC 2017 conference
The 24th International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions in 2017 (POAC 2017) was held in June 2017 in Busan, Korea. There were 184 participants from 15 countries. POAC 2017 was hosted by Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), the Society of Naval Architects of Korea (SNAK), Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO), and the Metropolitan City of Busan.
Investigation of sea ice and sea water characteristics in the Barents Sea
FIMA project leader prof. Aleksey Marchenko, Dr. Nataly Marchenko (UNIS), guest researchers from Moscow State University, Memorial University (Canada), Osaka University, AUV group from Cambridge University and UNIS students spent an unforgettable 9 days in the western part of the Barents Sea on board the governor’s ship “Polarsyssel”. This year’s cruise gave a unique possibility to cross twice (in the North and South parts) the ice tongue stretching to Bjørnøya island and see how various ice formations presented on ice maps look like in reality.
In the course of crossing, CTD profiling, video, photo and time-laps shooting were performed. Laser scanning and infrared footage were carried out.
The FIMA team and UNIS students work on drift ice floe with 4 m thickness and coordinates 76° 22.949′ N ; 22° 52.223′ E (east Barents Sea)
The following investigations are carried out:
– Ice strength tests and measurements of temperature, salinity and density of ice,
– Morphology and drilling study of ice ridge on the floe,
– ADCP profiling of water velocity below the floe,
– High-frequency measurements of water velocity and temperature for the calculation of oceanic heat flux.
The FIMA project team participated in the Arctic Science Summit Week in Prague (Czech Republic)
Prof. Aleksey Marchenko presented the paper “Thermodynamic transformation of ice rubble in the cold and warm waters”.
Together with UNIS colleagues, Nataly and Aleksey Marchenko showed the particular qualities and results of field investigations in Svalbard.
Investigation of physical-mechanical properties of ice in Van Mijenfjorden (Svalbard)
In the 5th times the international team carries out full-scale experiments in the frame of so called (and getting well-known) “Svea expedition”.
Among the participants this year are the representatives of the next institutions: 2 from the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia), 1 from Osaka University (Japan), 1 retired from Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL, USA), 2 from the Krylov State Research Centre, St.Petersburg, 1 from the Russian State Oceanographic Institute (Russia) and 1 from Dartmouth Collage (USA).
With solid UNIS leading and logistic support, they extend the work started in 2013 and continued the last years: in-situ indentation tests, beam test, compression-strength test; tide measurements.
The features of this year – cold weather with extremely strong wind; preparation and investigation of sea ice thin sections in field conditions; investigation of hinge zone in land fast ice.
fima_seminar_nov2016 04.11.2016

Joint seminar and lab tests of ice
Dr.Dm.Onishchenko (VNIIGAZ), Dr. Petr Chistyakov (MSU), MSc. Niek Heijkoop (TU Delft), Dr.Dave Cole, Prof. Aleksey Marchenko (UNIS), Dr.Torodd Nord (NTNU), Dr. Alexander Sakharov (MSU) and Dr. Evgeny Karulin (SMTU) near the cold lab of UNIS after a successful week of experiments. Together with students of the AT-332/832 course they performed an indentation test, uniaxial compression test analysis of thin sections of ice in the lab; and computer modelling of beam test in Comsol Multiphysics. There was a lot of fruitful discussion and experience exchange.

fima_conference_jun2016 04.06.2016
The FIMA team took park in the IAHR International symposium on ice (Ann Arbor, Michigan – US).
Prof. Aleksey Marchenko made a key note lecture: “Thermo-mechanical properties of saline ice and loads on structure “. The FIMA team presented the results of investigations of sea ice drift in the Barents Sea and mechanical properties of ice, ice action modeling. The papers have been published in the Symposium Proceeding, see publication list.
fima_lance2016 10.05.2016
Full-scale ice mechanical tests in the Barents Sea
The team of RV LANCE came back to Longyearbyen after 8 days of survey in the Barents Sea.
This year’s cruise was held in usually warm weather conditions and mostly free of ice sea. We managed to find thick enough ice floe only to the north-east of Edge Island, but investigation of sea ice were performed successfully on two stations with good results. Some of them will be presented on IAHR Ice symposium in June.
natalymarchenko_lance2016 03.05.2016
Investigation of ice rubble in the West Barents Sea
During survey on RV LANCE, the Arctic Technology Ice Group of UNIS discovered a huge ice rubble near the east-north point of Edge Island. It was the first such observation, because usually this region is surrounded by sea ice and basically unreachable.
We made laser scanning with RIEGL VZ 1000, CTD and ADV measurement and will investigate this interesting phenomena further.
 fima_svea_march2016 10.03.2016
Field study of sea ice mechanical properties in Svea
The FIMA team performs full-scale testing of the new rig, in-situ identation tests, beam test, compression-strength test; CTD, ADCP profiling, tide measurements on the lake Vallunden, connecting with Van Mijenfjorden on the west of Spitsbergen.
 FIMA news image Full scale investigation of fresh ice on the lake and experiments at UNIS cold lab and project discussion.

Dr. Dmitry Onishchenko (VNIIGAZ), Prof. Aleksey Marchenko (UNIS/NTNU), Dr. Evgeny Karulin (KSBI), Dr. A.Sakharov ,  Dr. Petr Chistyakov(MSU).

In the programme:
Lecturing for UNIS students, performing indentation test in the lab and in-situ; beam test in-situ, fracture toughness test in-situ, uniaxial compression test in the lab; computer modelling of beam test in Comsol Multiphisics.

FIMA news image Oct2015 06.10.2015

Oceanographic  investigation
Trying to find out the laws and peculiarities of sea currents in the fjords and in the Arctic Ocean, prof. Aleksey Marchenko with help of Sebastian Sikora set drifting buoy in sail and follows the trajectories. On 5 October, they removed the buoy making magic loops in front of Grumant to the new place new Hiorthhamn. This oceanographic investigation will give important information for local industry and future Arctic development.

FIMA news image 19 June 2015 19.06.2015

FIMA workshop at NTNU (Trondheim)
Project participants discussed current work and future plans. In the photo Dr. Nikolay Diansky (SOI/ INMRAS) tells about work with the WRF (Weather Forecast Model – resolution 25 km), the INMOM (Institute for Numerical Mathematics Ocean Model – resolution 2.5 km), RWWM (Russian Wind Wave Model) and COSMO (resolutions 6.6 and 2.2 km).

FIMA news image 17 June 2015 17.06.2015

POAC2015 conference
The FIMA team took part in the POAC2015 conference.
Here on the Photo: Dr. P. Bogorodsky (AARI), PhD student Vladimir Fomin (MIPT), Dr. Nikolay Diansky (SOI/ INMRAS),  Junior Researcher Mikhail Nikitin (HCR), Dr. Marina Karulina (KSRC), Dr. Nataly Marchenko (UNIS), Prof. A. Sakharov (MSU), Prof. Aleksey Marchenko (UNIS/NTNU), PhD student Åse Ervik (NTNU), Prof. Knut Høyland (NTNU), Dr. Dmitry Onishchenko (VNIIGAZ), Prof. Sveinung Løset (NTNU/UNIS).