From Sensing to Sense-Making: Assessing and Visualizing Ship Operational Limitations in the Canadian Arctic Using Open-Access Ice Data

  • Mark A. Stoddard
  • Laurent Etienne
  • Ronald Pelot
  • Melanie Fournier
  • Leah Beveridge
Part of the WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs book series (WMUSTUD, volume 7)


Vessels planning a passage in the Canadian Arctic face many risks, most notably from ice, extreme weather, remoteness, and uncharted or poorly charted bathymetry. For ship operators who view the Arctic as a relatively untouched area of opportunity, the desire to operate vessels in the Arctic brings new challenges and risks. This study introduces the Polar Operational Limitations Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) and demonstrates its use for assessing ship operational limitations using open-access historical ice information. The analysis of ship operational limitations in ice was aided by the construction of POLARIS scenario risk maps which were clearly demonstrated as a useful tool to support the strategic appraisal of ice conditions. Lastly, several use cases are provided to demonstrate how POLARIS and historical ice information can be used to support the strategic appraisal of ship operational limitations in ice.


Sense-making Ice data Canadian Arctic Operational limit POLARIS Ship classification Statistical aggregation 



Funding for this research was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, exactEarth Ltd., the German Ministry of Economy and Technology, and Airbus Defence & Space.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark A. Stoddard
    • 1
  • Laurent Etienne
    • 2
  • Ronald Pelot
    • 1
  • Melanie Fournier
    • 1
  • Leah Beveridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Planning and EnvironmentUniversity of ToursToursFrance

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