Comparison of the sea-ice thickness distribution in the Lincoln Sea and adjacent Arctic Ocean in 2004 and 2005

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Results of helicopter-borne electromagnetic measurements of total (ice plus snow) sea-ice thickness performed in May 2004 and 2005 in the Lincoln Sea and adjacent Arctic Ocean up to 86° N are presented. Thickness distributions south of 84° N are dominated by multi-year ice with modal thicknesses of 3.9 m in 2004 and 4.2 m in 2005 (mean thicknesses 4.67 and 5.18 m, respectively). Modal and mean snow thickness on multi-year ice amounted to 0.18 and 0.30 m in 2004, and 0.28 and 0.35 m in 2005. There are also considerable amounts of 0.9–2.2 m thick first-year ice (modal thickness), mostly representing ice formed in the recurring, refrozen Lincoln Polynya. Results are in good agreement with ground-based electromagnetic thickness measurements and with ice types demarcated in satellite synthetic aperture radar imagery. Four drifting buoys deployed in 2004 between 86° N and 84.5° N show a similar pattern of a mean southward drift of the ice pack of 83 ± 18 km between May 2004 and April 2005, towards the coast of Ellesmere Island and Nares Strait. The resulting area decrease of 26% between the buoys and the coast is larger than the observed thickness increase south of 84° N. This points to the importance of shear in a narrow band along the coast, and of ice export through Nares Strait in removing ice from the study region.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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