Oil discoveries on the Alaskan "North Slope" have brought large scale industrial activity to the remote Alaskan Arctic coast. The nearshore area consists of extremely shallow offshore waters, extensive barrier islands, and estuaries of small northward flowing rivers which drain vast expanses of permafrost tundra. This environment is stressed by extreme cold approximately eight months of the year, in sharp contrast to the remaining four months of open ice. This severe environment imposes engineering restraints, both by directly effecting structures and works, and indirectly, through limitations imposed by the unique ecology. These restraints are discussed in terms of coastal mechanisms along with the associated new data now being gathered year round by an extensive interdisciplinary project. This quantitative data is given for nearshore currents, sediment and ice movements, wintertime salinity intrusions in rivers, sea level variations with the important storm surge and ice push mechanisms, nearshore sediment types and distributions, and seasons changes, including the active spring break-up. Ecological variables are also being studied intensively, and mechanisms and data are discussed ranging from the chemistry and biology of primary productivity at the bottom of the food chain to the distribution of higher organisms, including birds, fish, marine mammals, and benthic organisms. Particular attention is given to predicting the effects of oil pollution and the effects of oil pollution incidents on this environment and the results discussed in terms of reliability criteria associated with oil-related structures.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract of paper delivered at the First International Conference on "Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions" held at Trondheim, Norway, August 23-30, 1971
  • Corporate Authors:

    POAC Conference

  • Authors:
    • Kinney, P J
    • Schell, D M
    • Alexander, V
    • Naidu, S
    • McRoy, C P
    • Burrell, D C
  • Publication Date: 1971

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00025695
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Arctic Institute of North America
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 28 1973 12:00AM