STUDIES OF THE MOVEMENT OF COASTAL SEA ICE NEAR PRUDHOE BAY, ALASKA, USA

During March-May 1976, a combination of laser and radar ranging systems was used to study the motion of both the fast ice and the pack ice near Narwhal and Cross Islands, two barrier islands located 16 and 31 km offshore in the vicinity of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Laser measurements of targets on the fast ice near Narwhal Island indicate small net displacements of approximately 1 m over the period of study (71 d) with short-term displacements of up to 40 cm occurring over 3 d periods. The main motion was outward normal to the coast and was believed to be the result of thermal expansion of the ice. The radar records of fast-ice sites farther offshore show a systematic increase in the standard deviation of the displacements as measured parallel to the coast, reaching a value of plus or minus 6.6 m at 31 km. The farthest fast-ice sites show short-term displacements of up to 12 m. There are also trends in the records that are believed to be the result of the general warming of the fast ice with time. Radar targets located on the pack ice showed large short-term displacements (up to 1.7 km) but negligible net ice drift along the coast. There was no significant correlation between the movement of the pack and the local wind, suggesting that coastal ice prediction models can only succeed if handled as part of a regional model which incorporates stress transfer through the pack.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings Symposium on Applied Glaciology, Cambridge, September 13-17 1976.
  • Corporate Authors:

    International Glaciological Society

    Cambridge CB2 1ER,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Weeks, W F
  • Publication Date: 1977

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 533-546
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00187971
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Arctic Science and Technology Information System
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 3 1979 12:00AM