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Floating ice is one of the potential hazards that threatens the safety of seaport operations in winter. In this study, the monitoring data of the ice conditions around the Port of Yingkou in the ice zone of China were analyzed. The results showed a significant negative correlation between changes in cargo throughput and the magnitude level of sea ice. When the ice thickness is more than 15 cm, it can have serious impacts on port operations unless tugboats and icebreakers are deployed to remove sea ice from the channel.

Introduction

Ports play an important role in a nation’s economic system. Seaports are important nodes of the transportation network and gateways for domestic and global trade. According to data released by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China in 2021 (Ministry of Transport of the PRC, 2021), 7 of China’s top 20 seaports in terms of throughput are located in seasonally frozen seas and need to cope with the impact of sea ice in winter. About one-fifth of China’s continental coastline is in seasonally icy seas. The Bohai Sea in northern China is a seasonal ice-covered sea with the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere. Sea ice hazards are considered to be among the most serious natural disasters in northern China (Eicken and Mahoney, 2015; Liu et al., 2016; Xu et al., 2019) because they can affect human activities on the coast and the safe operation of projects. Sea ice can damage coastal engineering buildings and offshore facilities, crush and damage ships, and block ports and waterways (Yuan et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2019). Preventing sea ice hazards in coastal engineering has always been a focus of attention in northern China. The ice period in the Bohai Sea usually lasts three to four months during the winter season and has a certain impact on port operations in the ice area almost every winter.

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