CIRFA welcomes you to a seminar where CIRFA PhD student Megan O’Sadnick will talk about fjord ice.
Examination of Sea Ice Cover in Norwegian Fjords and its Application to Oil Spill Response Activities
Fjords, broadly defined as glacially carved basins partially filled with sea water are a common topographical feature found throughout the arctic. Having large variations in water depth and experiencing a differing mixture of currents, tides, fresh water flux, and climatic conditions, fjords located within close proximity to each other can often behave very differently oceanographically. On the surface, these differences are not always obvious however, in the winter when temperatures drop below freezing, the formation of ice, or lack of ice, provides one indication of how these variables may interact. Throughout the arctic, ice conditions are changing giving rise to new questions regarding the impact on various ecological, biological, and physical systems as well as the implications for shipping and natural resource exploration. It is therefore of interest to both the scientific community and industry to understand and accurately predict ice conditions year-round throughout the arctic, not only in the open ocean but unique environments such as those found in fjords.
As part of my PhD through CIRFA, I am focusing first on the topic of ice formation in Norwegian fjords to determine the influence of oceanographic, atmospheric, and topographic factors separately and combined. Additionally, I aim to develop scientific tools to improve our prediction of when and where ice may form. This knowledge will subsequently be applied to examine the impact of ice in fjord environments on the spread of oil and pollutants, the related response activities, and the broader implications of both the current and past ice conditions in Norwegian fjords and similar regions. An overview of the approach being taken to study this topic is presented along with initial results from both work examining MODIS images gathered over fjords and field work in a fjord located near Narvik,Norway.