The Laptev Sea is one of the main source regions of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Most ice forms in winter in a prominent, quasi-permanent flaw lead or polynya (region of open water), separating landfast from drifting sea ice. In winter 2003/2004 we have deployed two seafloor moorings in the polynya, equipped with sensors to continuously observe ice, water, and sediment properties. In parallel, ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath Mode (WSM) and high resolution Image Product (IMP) and Alternating Polarization Product (APP) scenes have been ordered to monitor sea ice processes and ice formation throughout the winter. Here we present a preliminary assessment of SAR and weather data. Numerous different features and ice formation and break-up processes characteristic for different stages of polynya and fast ice development are qualitatively identified and discussed. These affect both ice production and water mass modification as well as sediment inclusion and transport in the Laptev Sea.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL1-Processes and interactions in the polar climate system
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL3-Variations of the physical environment of the Arctic Ocean