Ice at Its Southern Limit in the Barents Sea: Field Investigation Near Bear Island in April 2017-2018

Knowledge of sea ice conditions near Bear Island (Norway) is interesting both from a practical point of view and for fundamental science. Sea ice information is requested by industry, as it reveals potential threats to extensive fishing and transport activities and possible oil and gas exploration. At the same time, ice at its most southern location in the Barents Sea (75˚N) is a remarkable natural phenomenon, persisting during ongoing global warming. The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) Arctic Technology Department performed two expeditions on MS Polarsyssel in the region of the ice tongue which stretches to Bear Island. The expeditions took place in April 2017 and 2018, the time of maximal ice spreading in the frame of regular study cruises. In (Marchenko 2018), sea ice maps were compared with observed conditions. In 2018, the author continued the investigation of sea ice properties (mechanical tests), laser scanning, and observation of ice floe composition and made a testing station in the place with very shallow water (20 m) where ice concentrated. The distinguishing feature of ice in this region is the existence of relatively small ice floes up to 5 m in thickness, containing consolidated ice ridges. In this article, the author summarise two years of observations and data. These field investigations provide a realistic characterisation of sea ice in the region and are a valuable addition to the long-term studies of sea ice performed by different institutions.


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  • Accession Number: 01745138
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2020 9:12AM