AT-311 Sea Ice Mechanics and Physics (10 ECTS)






October 15, 2023


February 26, 2023


April 10, 2024


Spring semester (Block 2: Week 9-15)

Grade:Letter grade (A through F)
Course Cost:NOK 1000 (5 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
Course Capacity Min/Max:10/25 students
Credit reduction / overlap:AT-811 (10 ECTS) and AT-211 (10 ECTS)
Language of instruction:English
Examination support material:Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue.

Course requirements

Enrolment in a relevant master programme. 30 ECTS in Mathematics, statistics, physics, and/or mechanics (including structural mechanics/dynamics/FEM). 

Students from study programmes in Naval Architecture, Marine Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Applied Physics and mathematics are encouraged to apply.

Academic content

Ice physics, ice growth, ice mechanics, ice actions on structures, ice properties relevant for remote sensing, measurements techniques, ice ridge and ice drift.

Specific topics

  • The design of structures and ships in ice
  • Remote sensing of ice
  • Large-scale modelling of the Arctic sea ice cover.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn about sea ice, its physical and mechanical properties in different scales.
Students learn basic techniques to measure ice properties in laboratory and in field and how to analyze the measured data.

Upon completing the course, the students will:


  • understand how fundamental physical (conservation of mass, momentum and energy) and mathematical principles can be used to quantify sea ice properties in different scales. Such as conditions for ice formation, ice thickness, ice physical and mechanical properties, ice ridge properties and ice dynamics.
  • have basics understanding on how to use ISO19906 and other relevant standards in the design of structures and ships.


  • identify which sea ice properties that are relevant for practical scenarios. 
  • use simple models and estimate these properties.
  • carry out field and laboratory experiments to characterize sea ice
  • analyze and interpret measured data (data analysis).

General competences

  • have Arctic survival and safety experience from field work on land and sea during winter / ice season.
  • be able to conduct research work, independently and in groups, in a cold laboratory and in the field.
  • have competence in preparing reports and presenting results in seminars.

Learning activities:

The course extends over 6-7 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AT-811.


  • Total lecture hours: 50 hours.
  • Field work: 5 days
  • Laboratory work: 10 hours.
  • Exercise hours: 15 hours
  • Self-study and preparation: 80 hours
  • Report writing: 40 hours

The amount of laboratory- and field work may be subject to change, due to logistical / weather conditions.

Compulsory learning activities

  • exercises
  • laboratory work
  • field work
  • report writing

All compulsory learning activities must be approved to attend the exam.


Percentage of final grade
Report from Field and laboratory work20%
Written exam4 hours80%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course

Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.