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Project summary:

The main aim of this project is to map and document changes in the spatial and temporal distribution of recurring lead systems and coastal polynyas off the coast of northern Alaska in the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow and the Beaufort Sea between Barrow and the Mackenzie River Delta. Furthermore, the extent and stability of the landfast ice along this stretch of coast will be analysed. Remote sensing imagery, specifically Radarsat Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data, will be analysed for the time period between 1993 and 2003. These data will be compared to older AVHRR imagery archived at the Geophysical Institute's GeoData Center from the 1970's and 1980's. Monthly mean landfast ice edge positions as well as spatial statistics of lead distributions will be derived from these data for the time period of stable, closed sea-ice cover. Longer-term spatio-temporal variations in landfast ice extent and lead patterns will be assessed in the context of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic change. Project products and deliverables include gridded (in ArcGIS format) data (and corresponding metadata) of monthly mean landfast ice edge position and spatial statistics of lead patterns in the study area. A bibliography of published articles and reports of relevance in the context of the project will also be prepared.

News and Information:

Recent results of the methodology for determining the Seaward Landfast Ice Extent (SLIE) were presented at the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium in Anchorage (for extended abstract see "Reports & Publications" link.)

A first sampling of SLIE results for the time period 2001-2004 was the topic of a presentation at the American Geophysical Annual meeting in San Francisco (for extended abstract see "Reports & Publications" link.)

January 27, 2005