The Effect of Sea Ice on Tidal Propagation in the Kitikmeot Sea, Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Christian.Haas [ at ]


The tides in the Kitikmeot Sea, in the southern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, are found to be heavily influenced by seasonal sea-ice formation and blocking in a strait. Data from a moored current profiler in Dease Strait exhibit strong tidal damping during wintertime seasonal sea-ice cover, with 50%– 60% reduction in tidal elevation and 65% reduction in tidal velocities. We used a 3D unstratified barotropic numerical tidal model of the region to show that the observed wintertime tidal damping likely requires both high sea-ice friction and a partial sea-ice blockage in Victoria Strait (VS), the eastern gateway of the Kitikmeot Sea, where tidal-induced ridging causes thick, rough ice to accumulate over its shallow sill. Our analysis of the model shows different dynamics for the M2 and K1 tides. Both tidal constituents are dominated by the Atlantic tides entering through VS. Overall, ∼90% of the M2 tidal energy entering VS does not reach Dease Strait because, in addition to dissipation in VS (∼25%), it is significantly diverted into adjoining bays and around an amphidrome in eastern Queen Maud Gulf (∼65%). In contrast, the smaller K1 tide is less diverted into the subsidiary channels, after ∼20% dissipation in VS and only ∼25% in adjoining bays, it propagates far into the region and is amplified due to resonance in Dease Strait and Coronation Gulf, resulting in larger tidal height than the M2 tide in Coronation Gulf.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1029/2020JC016786

Cite as
Rotermund, L. M. , Williams, W. J. , Klymak, J. M. , Wu, Y. , Scharien, R. K. and Haas, C. (2021): The Effect of Sea Ice on Tidal Propagation in the Kitikmeot Sea, Canadian Arctic Archipelago , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126 (5) . doi: 10.1029/2020JC016786

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