The problem addressed is the continuous indentation of a ship or offshore structure into an ice sheet. The impacting ship or offshore structure is represented by a mass-spring-dashpot system having a constant velocity relative to the ice sheet. The dynamic response of this simple analogue model of ice-structure interaction is studied in considerable detail. The complicated, highly nonlinear dynamic response is due to intermittent ice breakage and intermittent contact of the structure with the ice. Periodic motions are found and the periodicity for a particular system is dependent upon initial conditions. For a representative system, a Poincare´ map is presented showing the fixed points. A description of some of the effects of random variations in system parameters is also presented. Some implications of these findings regarding structural design for ice interaction are discussed.

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