Journal Article Navigable windows of the Northwest Passage

13pp.91 - 99 , 2017-09
Arctic sea ice loss trends support a greater potential for Arctic shipping. The information of sea ice conditions is important for utilizing Arctic passages. Based on the shipping routes given by “Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report”, the navigable windows of these routes and the constituent legs were calculated by using sea ice concentration product data from 2006 to 2015, by which a comprehensive knowledge of the sea ice condition of the Northwest Passage was achieved. The results showed that Route 4 (Lancaster Sound – Barrow Strait – Prince Regent Inlet and Bellot Strait – Franklin Strait – Larsen Sound – Victoria Strait – Queen Maud Gulf – Dease Strait – Coronation Gulf – Dolphin and Union Strait – Amundsen Gulf) had the best navigable expectation, Route 2 (Parry Channel - M'Clure Strait) had the worst, and the critical legs affecting the navigation of Northwest Passage were Viscount Melville Sound, Franklin Strait, Victoria Strait, Bellot Strait, M'Clure Strait and Prince of Wales Strait. The shortest navigable period of the routes of Northwest Passage was up to 69 days. The methods used and the results of the study can help the selection and evaluation of Arctic commercial routes.
近年の海氷減少に伴い、北極海を航路として利用することが現実味を帯びてきた。そのためには海氷の情報が不可欠である。本研究では2006年から2015年までの10年分の海氷密接度を用い、"Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report"で規定された北西航路ルート上の海氷状況を調査した。ルートによって航行が可能な期間は大きく異なり、それは鍵となる通過区間の航行可能期間によって左右されることなどがわかった。本研究の手法と結果は、北極航路の効率的な利用のために有益であると考えられる。

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