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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-129
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-129
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jul 2018

Research article | 11 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Landfast sea ice stability – mapping pan-Arctic ice regimes with implications for ice use, subsea permafrost and marine habitats

Dyre O. Dammann1, Leif E. B. Eriksson1, Andrew R. Mahoney2, Hajo Eicken3, and Franz J. Meyer2 Dyre O. Dammann et al.
  • 1Department of Earth, Space, and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, 412 96, Sweden
  • 2Geophysical institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, 99775, USA
  • 3International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, 99775, USA

Abstract. Arctic landfast sea ice has undergone substantial changes in recent decades affecting ice stability with potential impacts on ice travel by coastal populations and industry ice roads. The role of landfast ice as an important habitat has also evolved. We present a novel approach to evaluate sea ice stability on a pan-Arctic scale using Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR). Using Sentinel-1 images from spring 2017, the approach discriminates between bottomfast, with critical relevance for subsea permafrost, as well as stabilized and non-stabilized floating landfast ice over the main marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian, Laptev and Kara Seas). The analysis draws on evaluation of small-scale lateral motion derived from relative changes in interferometric fringe patterns. This first comprehensive assessment of Arctic bottomfast sea ice extent revealed that by area most of the bottomfast sea ice is situated around river mouths and coastal shallows in the Laptev and East Siberian Seas, covering roughly 4.1 and 5.5 thousand km2 respectively. The fraction between non-stabilized and stabilized ice is lowest in the Beaufort at almost unity, and highest in the adjacent Chukchi Sea. Beyond the simple delineation of landfast ice zones, this work provides a new understanding of how stability regimes may vary between regions and over time. InSAR-derived stability data may serve as a strategic planning and tactical decision-support tool for different uses of coastal ice. Such information may also inform assessments of important sea ice habitats. In a case study, we examined an ice arch situated in Nares Strait demonstrating that interferograms may reveal early-warning signals for the break-up of stationary sea ice.

Dyre O. Dammann et al.
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We delineated bottomfast and stabilized landfast sea ice for the main marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean during 2017 using synthetic aperture radar interferometry. The East Siberian Sea had most extensive bottomfast ice and the fraction of stabilized floating ice was highest in the Beaufort Sea. This technique may inform assessments of subsea permafrost and important sea ice habitats and may serve as a strategic planning and tactical decision-support tool for different uses of coastal ice.
We delineated bottomfast and stabilized landfast sea ice for the main marginal seas of the...
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