There is widespread recognition that Arctic conditions can challenge marine oil spill response by limiting countermeasure effectiveness and, in extreme cases, even preventing their use. The Arctic Council's Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (EPPR) Workgroup implemented a response viability analysis to estimate how often different types of response systems could be deployed in different areas of the Arctic based on historical met ocean conditions. This approach, implemented previously in several circumpolar sub-regions, quantifies the effects of met ocean conditions on response techniques by comparing the operating limits for different response systems to a hind cast of met ocean data.
Response systems include options for mechanical recovery, chemical dispersants, and in-situ burning. Met ocean conditions in the dataset used include wind, sea state, temperature, sea ice coverage, horizontal visibility, and daylight/darkness. Additional conditions are discussed qualitatively. For each response system studied, the results indicate how often use of that system may be favorable, marginal, or not recommended. Seasonal and geographic variations in the results can inform response contingency planning. Examining the met ocean condition that most frequently impacts a system can also inform needed technological improvements or modifications. EPPR convened experts to provide input to the analysis, including the initial project scoping and development of baseline systems and limits. This paper discusses the project process as well as the analytical methodology, key inputs, assumptions, and results.
2DNV GL: Veritasveien I, NO-1363 Høvik, Norway
3NUKA RESEARCH AND PLANNING GROUP, LLC: PO Box 175, Seldovia, AK 99663 U.S.