Oceanic and Atmospheric Forcing of Sea Ice Dynamic and Thermodynamic Processes

Oceanic and Atmospheric Forcing of Sea Ice Dynamic and Thermodynamic Processes

Start/end date: 
Friday, April 17, 2015 - 00:00 to Monday, May 4, 2015 - 00:00
Event type: 

There have been dramatic changes to the sea ice regime in all sectors of the Arctic. These changes are both affected by and have effects on the physical and meteorological processes operating across the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere (OSA) interface. They also affect how industry must plan and prepare for exploration and development projects involving oil and gas and associated transportation of resources. Knowledge of the key meteorological, oceanographic (met-ocean) and sea ice variables are important both for engineering and operation considerations as well as for environmental impact studies required by these projects This study will involve monitoring of oceanic and atmospheric forcing of sea ice dynamic and thermodynamic processes at a local scale and a regional scale. We will investigate the movement of ice floes, specifically from the possible source of ice: Nares Strait and Baffin Bay.


The objectives of this study are to provide information on the oceanic and atmospheric forcing data of sea ice floes off the Newfoundland Coast in the Labrador Sea, upstream from areas of interest in the Flemish Pass. We will collect data on sea ice motion using GPS position only beacons (POB). These beacons will be coupled with small surface meteorological stations (SMS) that will measure wind speed and direction and surface pressure. Both the POBs and the SMS instruments will telemeter to Iridium for near real time upload of these data. We will install these on ice stations and leave them to drift for up to three (3) days. At one station an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) will be installed to monitor shallow under-ice currents. These shallow data will be supplemented by deeper current fields recorded using the Amundsen’s ADCP. We will use a combination of Zodiac, air-ice boat or helicopter to install the instruments during the Statoil CCGS Amundsen cruise. We will try to recover the instrumentation after they have been in free drift for up to three days.  This work will be done at two scales (i) local (in situ / Amundsen) and (ii) regional (upstream, Nares Strait, Baffin Bay). The following program elements define the suggested areas of work at:

  1. Ocean – describe the nature of currents, salinity, temperature, and associated physical variables off the coast of Newfoundland in the Labrador Sea, upstream from the Statoil areas of interest in the Flemish Pass.
  2. Sea ice - Describe the aerial concentration, type, growth history, strength and periodicity of sea ice.
  3. Atmosphere – describe the magnitude and variability of key meteorological variables.
  4. Coupling – provide data on the key coupling mechanisms across the OSA interface.


Fieldwork site: CCGS Amundsen/Labrador Sea

PI : D. Barber

Project Lead: L. Candlish

Project Participants: David Barber (CEOS), Lauren Candlish (CEOS), Geoff Gunn (CEOS), Kerri Warner (CEOS), Greg McCullough (CEOS), Shabnam Jafarikhasragh (CEOS)


Fieldwork summary/photo blog