Special Issue "Strategies for Oil Detection and Remediation in the Arctic Ocean"


A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Boris Peter Koch

1 Department of Marine Ecological Chemistry, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
2 Hochschule Bremerhaven, University of Applied Sciences, Marine Biotechnology, An der Karlstadt 8, D-27568 Bremerhaven, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49 471 4831 1425
Interests: marine biogeochemistry; organic matter fluxes; marine ecological chemistry; mass spectrometry
Guest Editor
Dr. Elisabeth Helmke

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Ecological Chemistry, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49 471 4831 1460
Fax: +49 471 4831 1149
Interests: marine microbiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Detection and remediation of oil spills has been subject to a multitude of studies in the past decades. More recently, potential accidents in the Arctic Ocean have received increasing attention in marine science and industry: The distance of the shipping route from Northern Europe to China and Japan is approximately 4,500 nautical miles shorter along the Northeast Passage as compared to the traditional route through the Suez Canal. Decreasing sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean grants access to these fast shipping routes and will inevitably result in an increase in ship traffic along the Arctic coasts. Moreover, oil and gas resources on the Arctic shelves will be increasingly accessible and subject to exploitation. This in turn increases the likelihood of spills and accidents involving platforms, pipelines and ships.

Recently, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the incident with the oil platform Kulluk in the Gulf of Alaska brought this issue back to public awareness. Spills in the Arctic involve fundamentally new challenges for detection and remediation: (i) sea ice hinders spill detection by remote sensing methods and accessibility for remediation infrastructure and mechanical methods. (ii) The lack of nearby infrastructure would add another challenge for fast response to spills which is usually most important for an effective remediation. (iii) Low temperatures reduce the efficiency of microbial remediation of oil spills and (iv) counteractions in wintertime could considerably be aggravated by the availability of daylight.

This special issue aims at a compilation of state of the art approaches which address these specific challenges for detection and all types of remediation of oil and gas spills in high latitudes.

Prof. Dr. Boris Peter Koch
Dr. Elisabeth Helmke
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • oil spill
  • oil detection
  • remote sensing
  • pollution
  • vulnerability
  • arctic ocean
  • arctic coasts
  • sediments
  • climate change
  • sea ice
  • bioremediation
  • remediation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview Detection of Oil in Ice and Snow
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2013, 1(1), 10-20; doi:10.3390/jmse1010010
Received: 23 October 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 22 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (544 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
The response to a major oil spill can be challenging in temperate climates and with good weather conditions. By contrast, a major spill in or under ice and snow, presents a whole new series of challenges. This paper reviews detection technologies for [...] Read more.
The response to a major oil spill can be challenging in temperate climates and with good weather conditions. By contrast, a major spill in or under ice and snow, presents a whole new series of challenges. This paper reviews detection technologies for these challenging situations. A number of acoustic techniques have been tried in test tank situations and it was found that acoustic detection of oil was possible because oil behaves as a solid in acoustic terms and transmits shear waves. Laboratory tests have been carried out and a prototype was built and tested in the field. Radio frequency methods, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), have been tested for both oil-under-ice and oil-under-snow. The GPR method does not provide sufficient discrimination for positive oil detection in actual spills. Preliminary tests on the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for detecting oil, in and under ice, shows promise and further work on this is being done at this time. A number of other oil-in-ice detection technologies have been tried and evaluated, including standard acoustic thickness probes, fluorosensor techniques, and augmented infrared detection. Each of these showed potential in theory during tank tests. Further testing on these proposed methods is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Oil Detection and Remediation in the Arctic Ocean)

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