Ice is the pervasive reality of arctic environments. It is therefore critically important to understand ice characteristics and behaviour at the molecular level, as well as in interactions with natural features and man-made structures. Ice has one of the lowest values of fracture toughness on earth; fractures occur during all ice–structure interactions, whether involving the failure of an ice ridge keel as it gouges into seabed or local and global loading and induced vibration as ice impacts a vessel hull. Despite recent advances, fundamental questions remain regarding the influence of flaw structure, interaction geometry, temperature, time and the interplay between fracture and microstructural damage.
Ice Mechanics is a foundational topic for all CARD programs, since accurate modeling of the mechanics of ice–structure interactions are needed to develop appropriate design methods and effective station-keeping and ice management models.